photo: Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals)
On Tuesday, December 3, Palm Beach County’s Tourist Development Commission brought forward a proposal jointly developed with the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals to renovate Jupiter’s Roger Dean Stadium complex.
However, the $111 million proposal was not accepted by county commissioners on a 6-1 vote due to the view that the county’s portion would deplete its tourist development funds. The proposal was sent back for undisclosed revisions and may be reviewed as soon as December 17, according to a report by the South Florida SunSentinel.
The proposed upgrades include relocation of both clubhouse buildings, an expanded press box, new bullpens, an outfield concourse, new scoreboard and many other enhancements, though this could change in the next round of negotiations.
The enhancements would be funded by a $111 million bond issue backed by county lodging taxes, state funding and contributions from the two teams. In return, the Cardinals and Marlins would extend their current commitment to the county-owned facility until 2048.
Roger Dean Stadium, which opened in 1998, seats over 7,000 and is the spring home of both the Major League Cardinals and Marlins. It also houses the two organizations’ Florida State League clubs and their year-round player development activities. In addition, RDS hosts many amateur baseball events throughout the year. However, the only time the stadium itself is full to capacity is during MLB spring training.
It appears the teams’ primary motivation for the renovations is to improve and expand development and training facilities, which, at least on the Cardinals side of the complex, are far too small and are out of date.
The project has been under development for several years, with an initial formal proposal presented to the Tourism Development Commission by the teams in May 2018.
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