Busy season for spring training ballparks

PORT ST LUCIE, Fla. - It has been 17 years since the New York Yankees have touched the Treasure Coast, and on Tuesday, the team ended that drought.

The "Bronx Bombers" finally returned for the last spring training game of the season at Digital Domain Park, capping off what has shaped up to be a busy season for area ballparks.

Operations managers at Roger Dean Stadium, home of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, said they saw an average of 500 more people at each game.

The stadiums said the rise is in part due to the Marlins new rebranding and the Cardinals winning the World Series.

"(It) lead to nice sales and everything, parking. We've had some great responses from our hotel partners in the area saying their occupancy rates are high," said Mike Bauer, of Roger Dean Stadium.

In Port St. Lucie, managers at Digital Domain Park said the New York Mets experienced a similar busy season and said their success goes beyond the ballpark.

"Go around to the local businesses in the community and ask them the question what spring training does to their business during the months of February and March," said Paul Taglieri.

After the teams leave and head to their home cities and stadiums, stadium managers said they shift into the minor league season.

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