Roger Dean Stadium    Jupiter, FL
Dimensions:  LF:  330   CF:  400   RF:  325     Capacity:  6871      Opened: 1998

Stadium Minor League History:      Florida State League        1998-present

Current Status:  Home of the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Florida State League (single-A)

What's Good:  A description of  Roger Dean Stadium sounds a lot like those ads for Motel 6 -- the place is clean, comfortable, and affordable.  Unfortunately, it was also instantly forgettable.  On the plus side, tickets were inexpensive ($5 for box seats), and most of the seating was comprised of individual seats (except small sections at the end of the grandstand and a bleacher section down the left field line).   The park was also easy to get to (only a few minutes off I-95) and had ample parking close to the stadium.  One nice feature was that the dugouts are partially open on the end, so fans sitting in the first few rows on the far sides of the dugouts can peer inside if they're inclined to do so.  And attendance is usually sparse (as is typical in Florida), which must be appealing to fans who don't like huge crowds.  This also means that excellent seats right up close to the field are usually available.

What's Not So Good:  The stadium is kind of in the middle of nowhere, part of some ongoing residential and commerical development project (there was a lot of construction going on in the vicinity).  This lack of sense of place was evident by the boring vistas beyond the stadium -- the only things visible beyond the outfield wall, for instance, are the two clubhouse/luxury seating buildings used by the Cards and Expos during spring training.  My biggest gripe, though, didn't concern the stadium itself or its environs, but rather a particularly irritating mascot.  Named Hamilton, I think, it seemed to ignore the cardinal rule of mascotdom -- while it's perfectly acceptable to cavort for the folks who like that kind of thing, do not do so in a way that is distracting to those fans who really want to watch the game.  The mascot spent large portions of time on top of the dugouts, blocking the view of those sitting behind him, while performing a lame imitation of Phillie Phanatic-style antics (putting a whammy on the opposing hitter, etc.).  Moreover, he paced on top of the dugouts holding signs imploring the thin crowd to "make some noise" (or some such thing), and continued to do so after he was more or less ignored.  In an otherwise quite pleasant place to watch a game, this clown was a major annoyance.

This Photo:    June 21, 2000     Jupiter Hammerheads vs. Brevard County Manatees

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