Large open air concourses allow fans to easily move around Camden Yards.
Escalators, ramps and elevators allow easy access to the upper deck. All 45, seats are green, replicating ones in bygone ballparks The original seating capacity was 48, but all seats were replaced with larger ones by the season. Fans can stand and watch the game from behind the out of town scoreboard in right field or in an area over looking the bullpens in left centerfield. A beautiful grassy picnic and park area filled with colorful flower gardens and shady trees is located beyond centerfield.
Since its opening in , 21 other ballparks have opened in Major League Baseball, all using concepts that were first used at Camden Yards. Although now it is over 20 years old, Camden Yards remains one of the best ballparks in baseball with its setting in downtown Baltimore and its view of the skyline.
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Prior to Camden Yards, the predominant design trend of big league ballparks was the symmetrical " multi-purpose stadium ". Memorial Stadium , the Orioles' home since they moved from St. Louis in , was an early example of such a design. In , the Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis , in part because Baltimore and Maryland officials refused to commit money for a replacement for Memorial Stadium. Not wanting to risk losing the Orioles—and Baltimore's status as a major-league city in its own right—city and state officials immediately began planning a new park in order to keep them in town.
The master plan was designed by international design firm RTKL. The stadium design was completed by the architectural firm HOK Sport now Populous , which had pioneered retro ballparks on the minor league level four years earlier with Pilot Field in Buffalo, New York. However, at the urging of architectural consultant Janet Marie Smith, the Orioles turned it down, preferring a retro-style park. Construction began in , and lasted 33 months. After considerable debate a compromise was reached to use both names. The ballpark opened on April 6, with the Orioles hosting the Cleveland Indians.
The great success of Camden Yards sparked a trend in the construction of more traditional, fan-friendly ballparks in downtown locations across the U. The Orioles went on to win the game on Rick Sutcliffe's shutout. On June 18, , an escalator accident injured 43 people; one of the stadium's multiple-story escalators, overcrowded with fans heading to their upper-deck seats, jerked backward, throwing passengers to the bottom landing.
Exactly one year later, Eddie Murray blasted his th home run there. Two orange seats stand out from the park's dark green plastic chairs. One, located at Section 96, Row 7, Seat 23 in the right-center field bleachers officially known as the Eutaw Street Reserve sections , commemorates the spot where Murray's th home run landed. The other, Section 86, Row FF, Seat 10 in the left field bleachers, was the landing spot for Ripken's th home run as a shortstop , breaking Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks ' record for the position. That home run was hit on July 15, Ripken finished his career with home runs as a shortstop and overall.
After the season , a new HD video display and scoreboard were installed below the right field bleachers. A new, high fidelity sound reinforcement system was added around the ballpark in The Orioles made numerous improvements to their home ballpark and to their spring training facility, Ed Smith Stadium , before the start of the season. All seats in the lower seating bowl were replaced and drink rails were added in the club level. Several skyboxes were also eliminated and refurbished to make room for more party suites and casual luxury boxes.
The renovation reduced Oriole Park's capacity from 48, to 45,, making it more comparable with newer ballparks.
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During the —12 off-season, the Orioles announced further upgrades to Camden Yards in preparation for the 20th anniversary of the park's opening. The lounge would contain a restaurant and have bar-style and casual deck seating where fans could watch the game. The team also announced that cast-bronze statues of all the Oriole Baseball Hall of Famers would be erected in the picnic area beyond the bullpens in left-center field.
The stadium planners incorporated the warehouse into the architecture of the ballpark experience rather than demolish or truncate it. The floors of the warehouse contain offices, service spaces, and a private club. The warehouse has been hit by a ball only once, by Ken Griffey, Jr. Eutaw Street, between the stadium and the warehouse, is closed to vehicular traffic.
Along this street, spectators can get a view of the game or visit the many shops and restaurants that line the thoroughfare, including former Oriole star Boog Powell 's outdoor barbecue stand. On game days, pedestrians must have a ticket in order to walk on the part of Eutaw Street adjacent to the stadium; however, on non-game days the street is open to all, while access to the stadium is gated. Sections 90—98, called Eutaw Street palace, are located not in the stadium, but adjacent to Eutaw Street, with the seats descending toward the outfield below.
If a game sells out, fans may purchase reduced-price " standing-room only " tickets, which entitle them to enter Eutaw Street and watch the game from two designated standing areas in LF bullpen area or above scoreboard in RF. Many home run balls have landed on Eutaw Street, and the Orioles organization has marked the spots with small baseball-shaped bronze plaques embedded in the street, though it sometimes takes up to a year for each homer to get a plaque.
The first occurrence was during the April 11, game against the Texas Rangers when Rafael Palmeiro hit two home runs which landed on Eutaw Street. The single season record for home runs landing on Eutaw Street is eight, set in Camden Yards was built on land that once served as the rail yard for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 's Camden Station. Some seats in the stadium have a good view of the downtown Baltimore skyline.
The bullpen area was designed after many write-in designs were submitted by the public. Its unique two-tiered design was a first in major league parks.
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A picnic area is located above and behind the bullpens. Rows of picnic tables covered by orange umbrellas are available for fans to sit and eat. Many trees are located there, too.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Many fans at home games view the game from behind the railing behind the bullpens. Until the season, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network 's pre- and post-game shows before Orioles home games were televised in an outdoor studio behind the bullpens.
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Bronze sculptures of the six Orioles greats whose uniform numbers were retired by the ballclub were unveiled individually in the walking zone of the area behind the bullpens throughout the season. So, now it's about setting new goals. Now that I'm here, I am just excited about the opportunity. April 6, marked the 25th anniversary of the first game played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. In celebration of the ballpark turning 25, PressBox spoke to some well-known Orioles fans about where they most enjoy sitting when they attend a game at the legendary stadium.
For some, it's about the atmosphere that exists in a certain part of the ballpark. For others, it's about which seats give you the view of the game that you want the most. That cannot be topped. It's a long story, but it's a great view. I really love the center field deck. Sitting in left field, where my favorite heckler used to act up on Sunday games, too -- and, of course, standing room only!
I like those seats, because you can see the whole field, and everything is in front of you. I'm always a big fan of sitting there. I also like sitting on the third-base side, because you can see into the Orioles' dugout and try to figure out what they're telling each other. For the past 20 years, I've been sitting 12 rows behind home plate.