When I first heard that the O’s were making changes to a few areas of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in order to enhance the fan experience, I was nonplussed. After all, it’s the Orioles we’re talking about here; if they consider “upgrading” the ball park the same as they do with the roster, what would be the OPACY equivalent of swapping Jeremy Guthrie for Jason Hammel? Replacing the dark green seats with light green ones? Without backs?
However, as opening day approaches, and we get a better look at these improvements, I find myself more and more excited for them.
As the below pictures and video (c/o WBAL) show, there really will be some significant changes at the yard this year.
In the first photo, you can see the new view from the Flag Court in right field. This improvement is a huge upgrade, and is long overdue. I’m 6’1″, and even I had to walk all the way up to the edge of the former wall in right field in order to be able to see the field. Back in the days when OPACY sold out regularly, those people in the standing-room-only section of the Flag Court were screwed if they wanted to actually see the game unless they got there early enough to stake out a spot right up against the wall.
Now, you can see the field from the entire Flag Court, and even from the concession areas behind it, which have also been redesigned to maximize the increased visibility.
The second photo above shows the new roof deck overlooking center field. A nod to the many roof top decks littering homes in Baltimore, this area will be a great new place for friends to gather and hang out while watching ‘dee O’s. Another cool idea that should add to the overall experience of going to a game.
I haven’t heard any differently, so I assume both of these areas are accessible to anybody that has a ticket to the game, regardless of if you are in a sky box or in the upper deck. Unlike say, the area behind home plate, which O’s ushers STILL watch like hawks through the end of every game for seat jumpers, regardless of how empty the stadium is.
The O’s don’t do very much to garner our appreciation as fans these days, so we have to make sure to praise them when they do. For these new improvements at the Yard, we say Thanks, O’s.
Now, go win some damn games.
See you all at the Yard on Friday, for our first in-person look at the new enhancements.