Work to Ed Smith Stadium is now the subject of a legal dispute, as Sarasota County is suing a ballpark renovation contractor.
The county is suing Gilbane Building Co, which it says is responsible for chronic issues at the spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles. Prior to spring training of 2011, Ed Smith Stadium underwent a massive renovation that included upgrades to the ballpark’s concourse.
Ever since, the flooring in the concourse has been an issue, with cracks being reported throughout the ballpark over the last several years. W.G. Mills oversaw the original project, but has since been acquired by Gilbane. The company has been involved repairs at various points over the last five years, and the county claims that the repeated problems with the concourse are the result of faulty work on the project.
For its part, Gilbane says that issues do not reflect the quality of work. More from News Chief:
Despite attempts to mediate a settlement throughout 2016, the Sarasota County Commission unanimously authorized the lawsuit this fall.
Gilbane does not dispute the problems with the concourse and flooring occurred, but contends it was not a defect in the product or workmanship that created the issues and therefore is not at fault, according to Gilbane’s response.
“It is expressly denied that such bubbling and cracking revealed a latent defect in the material and/or workmanship by Gilbane or anyone for whom Gilbane was responsible,” the company’s response says.
Repeated attempts since early last week to contact county officials about the severity of the ongoing issues at the stadium were unsuccessful. County leaders also do not comment officially about active litigation.
The Orioles played their first spring at Ed Smith Stadium in 2010, as the team immediately followed the ballpark’s previous tenant, the Cincinnati Reds. Upgrades to the facility had been eyed for years, and the Orioles’ agreement at Ed Smith Stadium called for it to undergo the $31.2 million renovation that took place before the spring of 2011.