WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Now that spring training baseball is complete after returning to West Palm Beach after 20 years, how did the first season go?
Representative from the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches says overall it was a positive season, but they did learn a few lessons.
The sound of construction outlasted the sounds of spring training baseball, as the finishing touches should be done by summertime.
The first challenge before any baseball could be played though, was getting it baseball ready.
"There was quite a bit of nervousness. Two-year project that came online in just under 16 months," says Ben Walter, the director of corporate partnerships for the ballpark.
Once the games started, Walter says, they took care of the only real complaint quickly.
"The traffic on Haverhill the first week was tough and we heard a lot of feedback," Walter said. "Once we got the word out, once it was properly marked with the flashing signage, we were able to rectify that issue."
They welcomed around 141,000 fans, according to the Florida Sports Foundation, the Nationals home games outselling the Astros, 85,000 to 56,000 tickets.
"We thought we would do a little more but we're new the community," Walter said.
Up Interstate 95 at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, the Marlins and Cardinals sold 151,000 tickets.
"So, we got our notes and we got some homework to do and we'll come back and hopefully have a stronger year next year," Walter said.
He said the fan experience at games received high marks.
"From the viewing experience, to the concessions to the all-around beautiful nature of the ball park, it's been very positive," said Walter.
Between now and next year's spring training, the ballpark will be busy with amateur and college baseball, and potentially events like concerts and festivals. Kaiser University has already played a baseball game at the park.
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