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New addition to Roger Dean Stadium upsets fans

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Posted at 5:16 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 18:20:01-05

JUPITER, Fla.-- It's not the warm welcome fans were hoping for when they started showing up to Roger Dean Stadium ahead of this year's Spring Training season.

A new fence could be found near the Miami Marlins' clubhouse, keeping fans farther away from their favorite players.

"The big players that are coming in now, everyone is so excited, but you can't even get close to them now. They blocked it all off," said 15-year-old Niko Mallon of Jupiter.

Niko and his brother Dalton visit the stadium daily to see the players.

"We usually come every day before Spring Training but sometimes they come and work out beforehand, so we come and see them then," he said.

This year, they noticed the fence was up.

According to Roger Dean Stadium's General Manager Mike Bauer, the fence was put up to keep both fans and players safe.

He says that section of the ballpark becomes very congested with fans, buses and cars.

Bauer said the fence will help alleviate that congestion and avoid any accidents that could happen because of it.

He adds that there have not been any accidents, but the stadium is being proactive.

Fans believe, though, that the change was made for different reasons.

"Because of the fact that their coaching staff has been upgraded to superstars like Bonds, Mattingly. That's the whole reason why they're doing it," said Eric Marinbach who is visiting from New York.

He says some people only come to get autographs that they later sell for a lot of money.

The GM of Roger Dean Stadium says the teams who are on the Marlins' side will likely carve out time for players and fans to interact.

The first Spring Training game at Roger Dean Stadium is March 1.