• Jun

    How to improve attendance at Camden Yards

    The Orioles attendance is down almost 100,000 since last year at the same time so I think it's time to offer up some suggestions on how to improve things.

    The Orioles really need to start some aggressive marketing and maybe bringing back $3 buck night on Mon-Thurs games. I mean the idea should be to get people into the stadium where they will spend money. I know I'm more apt to buy more stadium food and drinks when my tickets are cheap or free then when I have to pay for them.

    By the way, agressive marketing is not, and I repeat not asking us if we remember Jake Arrieta's six solid inning start as a defining moment. That's just embarrrasing.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again because it's really the truth in all of this, "The Orioles attendance will only go up significantly with sustained winning." 13 years of losing records has destroyed a fanbase outside of the diehards. It's ashamed, but I see it every day. Last year our first two Hangout nights were very well attended. This year, they were almost non-existent. So few people showed up that we decided not to even have pre-game or post game events at the rest of our Hangout nights because it's not worth the hassle. When you can't get diehard fans to come out to games to watch this team with other diehard fans you've got problems.

    In the meantime, if I'm the Orioles, I'm looking at doing several things to improve attendance:
    1. Make upper reserve seats $5 for Mon-Thurs non-prime games
    2. Get rid of the walkup fees
    3. More fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights (Hey if it works in the minor leagues it will work in the majors)
    4. Sunday base running for the kids after games
    5. Kids under 12 get in free with paying adult on Mon-Thurs in all but the $5 seats
    6. Kid meal pack (Hot dog, drink, small souvenir like a plastic O's helmet or a O's baseball card for $5

    Stadium improvements:
    1. Although Camden Yards is still one of the best ballparks around, what about building a "sports bar" on the flag court where you can sit on a stool around a small table and watch the game with your buddies? The flag court is really a wasted area and if they raise it up just a bit they could really make it a prime area to watch the games.
    2. $5 parking a half hour before the games on B/C lots. This will encourage the last minute people who start thinking about finding a parking spot, paying through the nose, only to miss part of the game.

    In the end the Orioles need to win, but the Orioles also need to sell the experience as much as the game. With HD TV, they need to make you want to come to the yard for the experience and in this economy, it needs to be for an affordable price.

    Visit the Orioles Hangout Message Board

Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.