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  • Writer's pictureJoe Capozzi

Spring training renovations delayed until 2025 as Marlins, Cardinals revise Jupiter stadium 'facelift'


The St. Louis Cardinals (left) and Miami Marlins (right) will build new player development buildings next to their existing clubhouses, which will be renovated instead of being torn down and rebuilt, under the latest revisions to a $108 million renovation of Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter. The work will start in 2025. (TOWN OF JUPITER)

THE MIAMI MARLINS and St. Louis Cardinals won’t start work on a $108 million renovation of their shared spring training facility in Jupiter for one more year.


The Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium makeover was supposed to start next month after a previous delay. Now, the bulk of the revised work will start at the end of spring training 2025 with a goal of completion by spring training 2026.


The main features of the latest change: Each team clubhouse, built in 1997, will undergo partial renovations instead of being torn down and rebuilt, and each team will construct new player development buildings next to their respective clubhouses. 


And the new plan ensures the teams won’t have to find a temporary spring training home during construction, a representative for the Marlins and Cardinals told the Jupiter Town Council on March 5.


“It's a reduction of  the disruption of baseball with the teams. It keeps the teams here in Jupiter,’’ said Kirk Bauer, director of sports for Fawley Bryant Architecture.


“The big difference is we are keeping the existing clubhouses intact and we are doing two phases of renovations of the existing structures instead of demolishing them entirely,’’ he said.


“We are building both teams a new player development building which houses strength and conditioning, athletic training and other athletic functions that we have taken out of the clubhouse and placed in those new structures.’’


Rendering of new player development building and agility field (left) next to Marlins clubhouse. (TOWN OF JUPITER)

The site plan changes, approved March 5 by the Jupiter Town Council, represent the third version of a project originally scheduled to start in the summer of 2023 and be completed over two years. 


That original plan “would have potentially required the Cardinals and Marlins to temporarily relocate spring training out of Jupiter for a minimum of one, potentially two seasons” unless they used massive temporary structures, 2GHO Inc., the teams’ planning agents, said in a report to the town. Those temporary options turned out to be too costly.


“One of the previous elements that was causing a lot of construction time was the overhaul of every utility on the site. By keeping the clubhouses intact, we don't have to disturb the utility corridors behind the clubhouses,’’ Bauer said. 


The new plan also calls for a two-story Fan Zone with 300 ticketed seats in an open area near third base. In the original plan, that Fan Zone was proposed as an extension of the seating bowl.


“There will be an area for a band after the game so that instead of people fighting traffic, you can stay there and enjoy some live music,’’ Bauer said. 



Preliminary work will start in October, with the bulk happening after spring training next year. Bauer said there should be no interruptions to Florida State League minor league baseball in 2025.


“We are truly excited for what you've got coming and really excited for the facelift,’’ Councilor Malise Sundstrom told team representatives on March 5.


Among the features of the latest renovation plan:


  • Nearly 13,600 square feet of the Marlins’ 32,350-square-foot clubhouse will be renovated. 


  • Just under 14,000 square feet of the Cardinals’ 31,310-square-foot clubhouse will be renovated. 


  • The Marlins will get a new 12,506 square foot player development building.


  • The Cardinals will get a 13,320 square foot player development building. 


  • Bullpens, now on the field outside the left and right field lines, relocated behind the outfield wall.


  • New female and male umpire locker room addition


  • Two stadium concessions converted to modern grab-n-go functions.


  • New Premium group area on the third base side with an elevated hospitality bar.


  • New 3,000-square-foot team store.

 

  • Upgraded Press box seating, new press box windows and press dining upgrades.


A county-issued bond to finance the construction will be repaid over the next 25 years, with the county paying about 34 percent of the debt through a local hotel tax. The state of Florida is paying 28 percent, with the Marlins and Cardinals paying the remaining 38 percent. With interest included, the total payments will be around $178 million.


The improvements will give the Marlins and Cardinals modern amenities comparable to or better than the newest spring training facilities, including The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach. The spring home of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, The Ballpark opened in 2017 and cost about $155 million.


The Jupiter facility cost $28 million to build before it opened in 1998 as Roger Dean Stadium.



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About the author

Joe Capozzi is an award-winning reporter based in Lake Worth Beach. He spent more than 30 years writing for newspapers, mostly at The Palm Beach Post, where he wrote about the opioid scourge, invasive pythons, the birth of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and Palm Beach County government. For 15 years, he covered the Miami Marlins baseball team. Joe left The Post in December 2020. View all posts by Joe Capozzi.



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