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Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium Renovation Plan Moves Forward

Proposed renovations to Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, spring home of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins, have taken a step forward, as Palm Beach County officials agree to help fund a scaled-down plan.

The Marlins and Cardinals have been seeking renovations to Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, a busy ballpark that is also home to two High-A Florida State League teams–the Palm Beach Cardinals and Jupiter Hammerheads. A $111-million renovation plan was floated to address both team and fan amenities, with the plans calling for the demolition of existing clubhouses to make room for a 360-degree concourse and additional outfield seating, with replacement clubhouses built beyond the new concourse, and other improvements. Funding would include revenue from county’s tourism (hotel/motel) tax, augmented by a state fund designed to help communities retain spring training. That plan was presented to Palm Beach County Commissioners two weeks ago, but with county officials wanting other projects to be covered by the tourism tax, commissioners asked the Tourist Development Commission to reopen negotiations with the Cardinals and Marlins.

A revised plan that went before commissioners on Tuesday had some new terms, including a lowered estimate of $108 million. Commissioners unanimously agreed to help fund this proposal, which removes some features from previous renovation plans, including the 360-degree concourse. There is still some work to be done to finalize the renovation proposal, including an agreement between the two teams and the Town of Jupiter over parking improvements. More from the Palm Beach Post:

The new deal shaved $3 million off the cost of the total project from $111 million to $108 million, reduced the county’s annual contributions for the first nine years and requires some of the bonds issued to be tax exempt to “maximize construction proceeds.”

Proposed improvements that were cut included signage and landscape at the entrance, a first-base group area, elevated seating decks in the outfield and a 360-degree concourse.

Palm Beach County will use tourism tax dollars specifically dedicated to infrastructure to contribute $75.1 million over 25 years. The state’s contributions, if approved, will be $50 million….

But the plans still hinge on one agreement: the teams and the town of Jupiter must agree on parking improvements, for which the town is responsible.

Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium originally opened in 1998. There are currently four teams conducting spring-training operations in Palm Beach County, with the Cardinals and Marlins joined by the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, who have operated out of FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beachessince its 2017 opening.

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