Ed Smith Stadium Gearing Up for Orioles

stadium being renovated
SARASOTA (2010-11-9) -

On March 1st, the Baltimore Orioles will throw out the first pitch at home for spring training - in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. That pitch will be in the Orioles' new home, a renovation of Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium.

Over a hundred workers bustle around Ed Smith stadium. Surrounded by scaffolding, the steal framework for a two-story concourse gleams in the sun. Men in hardhats dig new bullpens outside each dug out and four new elevator shafts are going in.

Janet Marie Smith, the Orioles' vice president of planning and development, is sure that the fans will notice the new HD video scoreboard and signs. But hours of listening to fans at public meetings tell her there are a few features they will enjoy much more.

"I don't think there was a single person started out with anything but shade - get out of the heat, so we really tried to think of that seriously," Smith said. "When we go downstairs, I will point out that behind home plate there is both a retail store and an air conditioned deli with sit-down seating. And the motivation to do that was to help fans not only get out of the but to get out of the heat."

Even the stadium seats will be new, brought in directly from Camden Yards and refurbished in the traditional dark green with the Orioles insignia.

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