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Sarasota Wed Jun 23, 2010 4 years ago

Stadium demolition nears completion

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by: Robin Roy City Editor

Eight months. That’s all that’s left before the Baltimore Orioles begin the 2011 spring-training season. Plenty of time to get their arms warmed up, but just barely enough to demolish Ed Smith Stadium and rebuild its replacement.

Construction crews working regular shifts would not be able to complete the project before pitcher and catchers report to duty, so beginning in September, they’ll be working double shifts.

They currently are busy demolishing all but the shell of Ed Smith Stadium. The rebuilding process begins next week.

Fans now will be seated in lower and upper decks. Both will be covered and have concession areas, which will have a full view of the baseball field.

The seats all will be replaced, and where the metal bleachers now stand will be more fixed seats. Grass berms and a standing-room-only area will bring the total capacity to nearly 9,000.

A new façade will look more like a traditional ballpark, in much the same vein as Baltimore’s Camden Yards.
Architect Gary Hoyt wanted to make the entrance to the actual field more of an experience.

“It’s important as fans enter, they look right at home plate,” he said.

The old layout had people access their seats from the right- and left-field lines.

Total cost of the Orioles project, including a new facility at Twin Lakes Park, is $31 million.

Contact Robin Roy at rroy@yourobserver.com.
 

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