Ed Smith Stadium has seen a lot of change in recent years. First, the Cincinnati Reds and Sarasota Reds bailed at the end of the 2009 season. Then the Baltimore Orioles shifted spring-training operations to Sarasota for 2010, signing a 30-year contract to play at a renovated facility. This offseason more extensive changes will take place in Ed Smith Stadium; here’s a look at how the ballpark was run in 2010.
Year Opened: 1989; renovated 2010-2011
Architect: HOK Sport, Kansas City (original design); Hoyt Architects, Sarasota, and David Schwarz, Washington (renovations)
Dimensions: 340L, 375LC, 400C, 375RC, 340R
Playing Surface: Grass
Parking: Plentiful near the ballpark, including free parking in city park lots within two blocks of complex.
Address/Directions: 2700 12th Street (12th Street and Tuttle Avenue), Sarasota. Coming from the north on I-75, exit at University Parkway; go west on University to Tuttle; turn left and head south on Tuttle; stadium is located on the right at the intersection of 12th and Tuttle. There is adequate signage to the ballpark.
Ed Smith Stadium is a very basic ballpark, serving as the spring home of the Baltimore Orioles after a tenancy from the Cincinnati Reds. Built in 1989 as the spring home of the Chicago White Sox, Ed Smith Stadium lacks many of the amenities you’d expect in spring training, such as a covered concourse or expanded concessions.
The design is basic. All seating is between the foul poles, and seating down each line is not angled toward the infield. The better seats are in the back of the grandstand: these seats are shaded.
Concessions are in back of the grandstand. Even for spring training the concession offerings are basic, though the Orioles added some Baltimore offerings, like crab cakes, to the mix when they took over operations there in Spring Training 2010.
Currently Ed Smith Stadium is undergoing a $30-million renovation funded by Sarasota County; in return the Orioles will spend the next 30 springs there.