Baltimore Orioles: Battle for Sarasota?
Yesterday I wrote about the Baltimore Orioles and their spring training experience. As I said, Ed Smith Stadium is second to none. It’s the best spring training experience in the league. And that’s a good thing for the Orioles for more than one reason.
In 2020 the Birds will begin sharing Sarasota with the Atlanta Braves. They’re building a new spring facility in the area, as 2019 will be their last year in their current facility in Orlando. How does that affect the O’s?
As I said yesterday, the Orioles have embraced Sarasota and Sarasota has embraced the Orioles since the partnership began. They’re very much embedded in the local community, and it’s very much a grass roots partnership. Local businesses purchase season tickets for Grapefruit League play, and local residents flock to games. Will Atlanta eat into that revenue?
The obvious answer is that the presence of another team in town will have an affect. But it’s up to the Orioles how big an effect it will have. They need to keep up their presence in the Sarasota community, and if anything step it up. If they’re able to do so, hopefully the community still stands behind them when the Braves come.
One thing that will change for the better will be the spring training schedule. With another team in the immediate market, the Orioles should be able to schedule easy road games in terms of their travel schedule. In 2020, that is.