Posted: 2:48 pm Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Will Jupiter Christian play another football game in Roger Dean Stadium? 

By Matt Porter

That was the question posed to Jupiter Christian coach Bill Powers.

Workers at Roger Dean Stadium prepare the field for last years Jupiter Christian-Glades Day tilt. (Bill Ingram/The Palm Beach Post)

Workers at Roger Dean Stadium prepare the field for last year's Jupiter Christian-Glades Day tilt. (Bill Ingram/The Palm Beach Post)

“The short answer is I’m not really sure,” Powers said. “For us to do that, it’d have to be against an opponent that makes sense.”

By that, Powers means a team that travels well enough to pack the stands. A potential opponent would have to bring in enough paying fans for the school to break even, to say nothing of turning a profit.

It cost Jupiter Christian about $5,000 to rent the stadium for last year’s Class 1B regional final against Glades Day. The $5,000 is offset by about 715 tickets sold at $7 each. The school hoped for 1,500 attendees for last season’s playoff game; 1,916 attended, according to Scott Loud, Jupiter Christian’s assistant athletic director.

Despite the better-than-expected attendance, Jupiter Christian did not make money on the game. That’s because the FHSAA keeps 15 percent of the revenues and Jupiter Christian and Glades Day split the rest 55-45 percent, which is customary for playoff games. A regular-season game would seem to be more profitable – the home team keeps the gate in most cases – but hosting a game at Roger Dean is far from a guaranteed moneymaker because of weather, opponent and other variables.

Last season, Jupiter Christian hoped to play some or all of its home games at Roger Dean, but that no longer seems feasible. It’s hard to think the Eagles would get close to desirable attendance figures against a small, out-of-area opponent like Coral Springs Christian or Zion Lutheran (to choose two teams on their schedule). Rain in the forecast would further hurt the bottom line.

Glades Day, scheduled to visit Jupiter Christian Sept. 23, is the obvious choice for an opponent. A venue has yet to be booked for that rematch. Treasure Coast, slated to visit Oct. 21, is a long shot.

Roger Dean Stadium General Manager Mike Bauer said he’s open to hosting another football game as long as it is after Sept. 4, the end of the minor-league baseball season. The stadium is home to the Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals, the Single-A affiliates of the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. Bauer said no area schools have contacted him about hosting another football game.

A pipe dream: Jupiter vs. Jupiter Christian at Roger Dean, for town bragging rights and a big shiny trophy. The sides have briefly discussed the idea in the past but have yet to agree on anything.

“That would be fantastic, because that would fill the stands,” Bauer said. “It would get the whole town out. Having a local rivalry we could do every year would be a lot of fun. We’d be very excited to host that.”