Start of spring training attracts baseball enthusiasts from near and far

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 1:00 AM EST
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The first pitch of spring training was thrown Saturday at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, and for employees of businesses in the area, they said it’s been a long time coming.

Last year the league and players struggled to resolve labor disputes, which led to a shortened spring season in 2022. Prior to that, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancelation of countless games.

"Our business took a big hit the last couple of years," DAS Beer Garden President and CEO Alex Marques said. "This is the first year that we're on a full schedule."

Marques and other businesses in the Abacoa neighborhood of Jupiter said spring training is the stretch of business for which they've been waiting.

“We've been very busy this week — this weekend in general, especially since spring training started," Marques said.

Some fans at Sunday's game, when the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Miami Marlins, traveled from across the country just to sit in the stands.

“It was 39 degrees this morning in St. Louis when we got up,” a fan told WFLX.

“I love it, love baseball, and what better place to see it than here,” another fan told WFLX.

Fans said the seats are one of the most appealing parts of their experience.

"I can't get as close as I want to in St. Louis as I can here," a Cardinals fan said. "Even the bleachers here you're, like, real close to the action."

Businesses are hoping this first successful weekend is a springboard through March.

"The whole year, since the beginning of the year, we know that March is coming, we know spring training is coming, so we have to staff up, make sure our kitchen is prepared, know we have to work long hours," Marques said. "But everyone is super excited because it's a fun crowd."

For a complete spring training schedule for our area, click here.

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