Friday, April 9, 2010

Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Eutaw Street, just beyond center field
In the early 90s a trend began to create venues made for the sole purpose of baseball and a seperate facility for football.  In the twenty years prior to this, cities found it economical to build one multi-purpose stadium. Among those were Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati and Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. Since these stadiums hosted more than 100 events a year, artificial turf was common to allow for a playable surface no matter what time of year.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards: PHL vs BLT
But the first baseball stadium to reverse the trend was in Baltimore. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a baseball only facility built adjacent to the downtown waterfront area that rejuvinated a dying area of the city.Camden Yards was more than a new stadium, but it started a new era in baseball facilities that incorporated the nuances historians reminisced about in describing the Polo Grounds, Sportsman Park and Ebbets Field.

Among the characteristics is the warehouse located beyond the right field wall. It now houses the Oriole administrative offices.Restaurants are also located in the warehouse which can be used more than the 81 home dates, rather it can be used year-round. Bullpens were designed for fans to watch you was warming up, and it allowed the true baseball fans to start up conversations with those waiting to enter the game. In front of the warehouse is Eutaw Street. On non-game days it is open to the public as a thru-way, but it closes to the many different food and clothing vendors.

Today Camden Yards opened up another year of baseball as the Orioles hosted the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays spoiled the home opener by defeating Baltimore.

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