Orioles Look Toward Spring Training



The first pitch won’t be thrown until March, but in so many ways spring training has arrived in Southwest Florida. The Baltimore Orioles have officially unloaded equipment and started a series of baseball events expected to draw thousands to Sarasota this year. “The excitement about Sarasota continues to grow,” said David Rovine, vice president of Orioles-Sarasota. “More folks in the Mid-Atlantic states are coming down to see spring training and enjoying what Sarasota has to offer.”

The Orioles saw record spring training ticket sales in 2014, with 89,449 tickets sold over 12 games at Ed Smith Stadium (The Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton sold 91,046 tickets over 12 games at McKechnie Field). That was before the Orioles had a 96-66 regular season, winning their first American League title since 1997. Rovine said an event just held in Baltimore seeking to excite fans about spring training drew incredible interest in this year’s Florida events. And Dream Week, an event held earlier this month for fans who want to experience the professional training regimen themselves, generated $900,000 in economic impact for Sarasota, according to Rovine. The Orioles last week had a lunch with The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and promised renewed commitment to promoting the region. “I think the Orioles continue to demonstrate themselves as a great business and civic partner to this area,” Rovine said. 

The first Orioles spring training game will be March 3 against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland. The first home game at Ed Smith Stadium will be March 4 against the Tigers again. The tentative season schedule shows 16 home games for the Orioles this year.

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