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Goodbye, Roger Dean Stadium berm seats

Roger Dean Stadium 2016

The Roger Dean Stadium berm has been a longtime favorite of St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins spring-training fans, but the space is being replaced for 2016 by an all-you-care-to-eat Bullpen Club.

A rendering of the new space is shown above. Basically, the grass of the Roger Dean Stadium berm will be replaced by the “Bullpen Club,” a 136-capacity seating terrace with 20 four tops, bar rails and upscale service via a dedicated concession stand. All the food and beverages — except for alcohol — are included in the ticket price. The space will also carry a much higher price tag: between $52 and $60, depending on the date.

The old price: between $15 and $20, sold only on the day of the game.

As is often the case in spring training, there is some negative reaction when a low-priced option is replaced by a more expensive one. From the Palm Beach Post:

“It’s an excellent place for those who don’t want to pay the higher price for a suite but want to be in a conversational environment. The lines at the concession stand will be shorter,” stadium General Manager Mike Bauer said.

Abacoa resident Scott Logan, who attends about eight spring training games every year, won’t be a member of the Bullpen Club….

“Taking away that green grass in right field is going to hurt the aesthetics of the baseball field. It’s going to look like a carnival,” said Logan, 76, a retired school principal from near Pittsburgh.

One issue, according to Bauer: though many fans did indeed love the berm, it was the last space in the ballpark to sell out, and many fans would walk from the game rather than decided to sit on a grass berm. Add to that the demand for an upscale space from many fan — a demand that’s certainly playing out in most spring-training facilities — and you have the basis for a change.

The cost: $300,000.

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