Perhaps the most influential major sports facility in North America, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is credited for bringing the old style of ballpark back into MLB cities across the United States. Prior to the new design, teams and cities constructed multi-purpose or cookie-cutter stadiums that catered more towards the business of sports facilities rather than the fan experience.
The initial decision to rebuild was spurred by the loss of the Baltimore Colts, who ended up moving to Indianapolis after Baltimore refused to build a new facility for their NFL team. In an effort to prevent Baltimore from losing the Orioles, they went all out on the new facility, resulting in what’s frequently referred to as the best in the league.
Rather than select a design from sports architectural giant Populous, one patterned after Comiskey Park, the Orioles followed the advice of their consultant, who pointed to Pilot Field and the success of minor league teams going back to classic ball parks that offered fantastic aesthetics that included a great view of the city, easily accessible by fans travelling to the downtown core.
Baltimore Orioles Stadium
The Baltimore Orioles were a fantastic home team in 2015, earning a record of 50-31, which put them in the top five home teams throughout the season, also earning the team a stint in the playoffs. For the 2015 season, the Orioles dominated once again during their home games, proving that they enjoy home field advantage compared to their terrible record on the road, which has costed them a spot in the playoffs.
Oriole Park produces home runs at a much greater rate than other ballparks, with a home run rate that is near the tops in the league, according to 2015 MLB Park Factor statistics. This stadium also finishes near the to for overall run production and hits, although doubles occur at an average rate while triples happen at a rate that’s bottom five in the MLB. Hitters tend to swing away and pitchers throw a lot of strikes, as Oriole Park produces the second-least amount of base-on-balls in the league.
One of the most interesting features of the ballpark is the B&O Warehouse that was included as part of the new build, which consists of offices and a private club. Only Ken Griffey Jr. has ever hit this building, during the 1993 All-Star game.
Date Opened: September 18, 1966
Construction Cost: $25.5 million
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Ballpark Type: Multipurpose
Capacity Attendance: 37,090
Playing Surface: Tifway II Bermuda Grass
Previous Baltimore Orioles Stadiums
Cashman Field; Municipal Stadium; Shibe Park; Columbia Park
Other Major Events
Major League Baseball History
A pair of one-in-a-century baseball events occurred at Oriole Park. The first of which was Cal Ripken Jr., who broke the consecutive games played record set by Lou Gehrig on September 6th, 1995. On August 22nd, 2007, the highest scoring game since 1897 took place. The Orioles scored only three runs while they gave up thirty runs to the Texas Rangers, all part of the first game of what ended up being a grueling doubleheader.
Pope John Paul II
Pop John Paul II visited Oriole Park to lead a mass on October 8th, 1995, making this one of the biggest events to take place at this venue.