Twenty years after the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the Baltimore Orioles today announced a series of enhancements dedicated to improving the fan experience at one of baseball's best facilities.
The biggest change: the center-field picnic area is being revamped. The emphasis won't be on groups; it will shift to Oriole team history, with six larger-than-life sculptures of Orioles Hall of Famers to be installed during the course of the year. Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken, Jr., Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Earl Weaver will be honored with sculptures by Maryland sculptor Antonio Tobias “Toby” Mendez in an improved bullpen picnic grove, which will receive significant upgrades and additional landscaping. As with the Orioles Hall of Fame plaques on Eutaw Street, this area will be renovated to allow fans access during non-gameday hours.
Along with the installation of the sculptures, the Orioles have also planned additional upgrades to the main concourse, Eutaw Street, flag court and upper deck at Camden Yards for the 2012 season.
Here's a list of what else the team has planned for the 2012 season:
In 2011, the Orioles and their concessionaire, Delaware North Sportservice, invested in an overhaul of the main concourse concessions. For 2012, the Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority are further improving the main concourse with new flooring and wall coverings. Following a trend in ballparks for a more finished look, the new flooring, which debuted last year in the lower concourse behind home plate, improves not only aesthetics but makes for easier cleaning and a less slippery surface when wet. Select Orioles design elements will be added to lower concourse walls and murals will be added to stairwells.
EUTAW STREET AND PICNIC AREA
The outfield areas of Eutaw Street and the bullpen picnic grove in center field are undergoing a major overhaul featuring the following changes in addition to the six new sculptures:
- A new outfield overlook on top of the batter’s eye wall in center field, featuring casual seating, a bar and deck seating. Any fan with a game ticket will be able to enjoy this unique vantage point to watch all or a portion of the game. This area was previously inaccessible to fans.
- New entry concessions at the north end of Eutaw Street.
- As a part of MSA’s restoration of the B&O Warehouse brick work, a replica of the original canopy will be added to the Warehouse to shelter portable concessions and additional seating, as well as fans on Eutaw Street searching for shade or to escape inclement weather.
The out-of-town scoreboard on the right field wall will be modified to reduce the height of the wall and thus improve views of the game from the Flag Court and Eutaw Street. Food service and retail in the Warehouse will also be renovated to take advantage of this improved visual connection to the playing field.
All upper-deck concessions will be upgraded with new food service equipment, allowing for an expanded menu and more freshly prepared options as well as a new look, similar to what was completed on the lower level prior to the 2011 season.
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