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A diamond in the rough: As team rebuilds, Orioles have big plans for its main jewel, Camden Yards

Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Baseball

Club officials acknowledge that Baltimore -- in which homicides have topped 300 the past four years -- faces an issue turning around the city's image.

"With the challenges that the city is facing right now, the city needs the Orioles and the Orioles need the city," Brightman said.

Bader said the club can play "a role in messaging and policy that help create an atmosphere where people feel safe. It is a very safe experience to come to an Orioles game."

Bader envisions the stadium being used increasingly for non-baseball activities such as music festivals or food festivals "and some smaller acts that maybe are going to be paired with games."

"Even when we won the most games of any American League team in a five-year stretch, we were promoting the experience," Bader said. "We had more well-known players then, and they weaved their way in. But it was still about Camden Yards."

The club has been increasingly emphasizing promotions such as the summer music series, Kids Cheer Free and various theme nights.

 

Major Camden Yards concerts are joint ventures of the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority, its landlord.

The stadium authority is entitled under the lease with the Orioles to collect a portion of proceeds from concerts at Camden Yards.

The stadium authority collected an 8% admissions tax from the Billy Joel concert, and the city 2 percent.

The Orioles collected all the net revenue -- a concession made to the team by the stadium authority "to encourage them to continue to bring non-baseball events" to Camden Yards, according to the minutes of an authority meeting last June. The net revenue figure for the Billy Joel concert was unavailable, the authority said.

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