WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Baseball returned to the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on Friday night as the Miami Marlins took on the Washington Nationals in their debut game of spring training.
"Sun is shining, breeze is blowing, couldn't be any better," said Marlins fan Nicole Leto who watched the game from the home run territory with her two children.
Leto said having spring training back is valued family time as they cheer on their team.
"It's the experience. We love to watch the game, the food, walking around the stadium trying to catch a ball," said Leto.
For concessions workers like Mark Muniz, spring training is an extra form of income.
"That's my gig for spring training. It's a little side extra money and it's fun. That's the most important thing. We have fun with the fans and the families," said Mark Muniz a concession worker, at the Ball Park of the Palm Beaches.
Beyond the stadium, places like Jumby Bay are already seeing business spring into action.
"Oh, it's great. They're enthusiastic, energetic smiles on their face. They've been at the game all day, they need sunscreen a little but they're having a good time," said Heather Voight, one of the managers at Jumby Bay.
They say with local games Friday and Saturday, they've seen a whirlwind of guests and only do call-ahead as people visit Jumby Bay.
"Spring training means a lot more sales, again another return in revenue that we haven't seen with last year too with COVID so we've very excited that they got everything all situated and we're back and ready to play ball," said Voight.
This all comes as a lockout put spring training on hold due to negotiations with team leaders and the players association.
"I'm happy but I wish they would've negotiated earlier instead of wasting three months. They could've done everything earlier," said baseball fan Bobby Leibenstein.
Because of the lockout, spring training missed two weeks of games but teams are set for a full regular-season schedule.
"It's gonna be a fun 2022 for all baseball fans and yeah so I can't wait," said Leibenstein.
Saturday the Miami Marlins take on the Houston Astros at Roger Dean Stadium.