New Food on the Grill, and a Cleared Parking Lot: Camden Yards Readies for Opening Day

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386_1camden_yards_3000_7Inside and out, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is nearly ready for Opening Day of the baseball season, with changes ranging from a new concept for the former Natty Boh Bar on the first base side to repaired parking lots that were damaged by snow dumping over the winter.

The orange carpet rolls out on April 4 to kick off the 25th season for Oriole Park, which opened on April 6, 1992, and consistently ranks among baseball fans as one of their favorite ballparks in the country.

The parking lot repairs were needed to fix several hundred spaces damaged by city contractors during snow removal and dumping work following the 29-inch snowstorm on January 23.

Because its contractors damaged the lots, the city of Baltimore agreed to repair parking lots G and H in time for the Orioles’ home opener on April 4 and cover the cost. The work cost the city $500,000, according to Department of Transportation spokesperson Adrienne Barnes.

Snowtorious B.I.G. at work after the snowfall.
Snowtorious B.I.G. at work after the snowfall. (courtesy Md. Stadium Authority)

 

The Maryland Stadium Authority, which manages the parking lots as part of the Camden Yards sports complex, agreed to let the city dump snow there to get it off city streets.

After the snow melted in early March, state officials could see that the parking area had deep craters and other damage to its surface and to light poles, caused by snow removal contractors who couldn’t see areas to avoid once the snow reached a certain height.

The lots are just east of M & T Bank Stadium and provide parking for 1,275 vehicles on game days. P. Flanigan and Sons was the contractor that completed the repairs.

“As promised, the parking lots damaged by heavy equipment used during the January snow removal have been repaired in plenty of time for Opening Day,” said Phil Hutson, Director of Capital Projects and Planning for the Stadium Authority.

“We appreciate the professionalism of the City and their contractors in doing an excellent job in a very tight schedule,” Hutson said.

The parking lot after snowfall. It's cleared now.
The parking lot after snowfall. It’s cleared now. (courtesy Md. Stadium Authority)

What’s New Inside

Inside the ballpark, one change is that the former Natty Boh Bar on the lower concourse will be known as the First Base Bar and will serve a variety of beers from now on.

National Bohemian Beer, which returned to the ballpark in 2011 after a 15-year absence, will continue to be sold on draft at the ballpark but only in designated areas, a club official said earlier this year.

The Orioles and their concessionaire, Delaware North, have made several additions to the food offerings at Oriole Park this year. Highlights include:

  • Jalapeno Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog: Deep-fried ESSKAY hot dog wrapped in jalapeno bacon with American cheese (available at ESSKAY Gourmet Hot Dogs)
  • Smoked Brisket BBQ Sandwich: Slow-smoked Angus brisket with house-made BBQ sauce and tobacco onions (Eutaw Street Grill)
  • Spicy Chicken Chipper: House-made Yukon gold kettle chips with smoked buffalo style pulled chicken, blue cheese dressing, and diced celery (The Chipper)
  • The High Heater Burger: Two fresh beef patties with sautéed jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, smoked bacon, and chipotle aioli (Bud & Burgers)
  • Roma Chorizo Sausage: Fresh chorizo sausage with tequila lime caramelized onions and cotija cheese (Roma Sausage)

The Orioles say they have one of the most liberal food policies in professional sports. Outside food and beverages may be brought into Oriole Park, subject to the following guidelines:

  • No hard-sided coolers, thermoses, glass bottles, cans, or alcoholic beverages are permitted into the ballpark. Fans must leave these items in their vehicles before entering the ballpark.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages in plastic bottles are permitted into the park. All items will be checked at the gates and any beverage that has been opened or partially consumed prior to entry is subject to confiscation if it is thought to contain alcohol. In addition, no plastic or paper cups of beverages are permitted into the park at the entry gates.

 

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.
Ed Gunts


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