After the 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic, minor league baseball is going on around the state and in Jupiter, things are getting back to normal.
"It feels really great to have fans back in the ballpark, to hear the crack of the bat, the smell of popcorn. Baseball is back!"
Mike Bauer is General Manager of Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, home to the Palm Beach Cardinals and the Jupiter Hammerheads, which are the Marlins Low-A affiliate.
They've been selling tickets to Thursday through Saturday night games, but limiting capacity to 21 percent. But that's changing Thursday night.
"We were at 21 percent up until this week. And now we're going to be able to open back up to what people are accustomed to."
That means nearly 100 percent capacity. Bauer says two seating sections are being kept available for those who want to continue socially-distancing.
He believes more people are showing up to the games that they are able to, in comparison to a typical minor league season.
"We're seeing that the fans are coming back. We're approaching 1,000 to 1,200 a day. And people are spending money. They're out, they're enjoying hot dogs and we're seeing that it just feels good for most of them to be outside enjoying each other's company."
Going back to 2019, Bauer says the stadium averaged about 800 fans per game.
Masks are optional, but strongly encouraged for those who are not vaccinated for the coronavirus, hand sanitizer is available throughout the facility and Bauer says enhanced cleaning practices will continue.
The Hammerheads are hosting the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, a Minnesota Twins affiliate at 6:30 p.m.
Bauer says that unlike previously this minor league season, you are not limited to purchasing pods of 2 or 4 tickets.
There are some differences from the last time you may have attended a game at "The Dean" however. It is now a cashless venue, so bring your credit or debit cards. And fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets digitally.
And plan ahead for the return of the annual Mega Bash at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on the 3rd and 4th of July. That will feature baseball, live music and fireworks.
Click Here for ticket information.