Reporting Kai Jackson
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Momentum is building for the Baltimore Orioles. It’s just over halfway through their winning season, and the fans are glued to their seats. The team says attendance is way up at Camden Yards and businesses around the park are feeling the magic too!
Kai Jackson has the impact of the birds’ popularity.
The Orioles are having another good season, and that means big business for Baltimore and Maryland.
It’s a sea of orange and black at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The birds are flying high with another solid season and fans are excited.
“The offense is beyond anything I thought it would be. Hope the pitchin’ picks it up a little bit. We’ll see,” said fan Chris Wittman.
The Orioles’ front office says what’s really picked up is fan attendance. Consistent play by the team and last year’s playoff run has more Marylanders at the ballpark. In 2011, the Orioles were 26 out of the 30 Major League teams for attendance. This year, the bBirds have jumped to 18th out of 30.
It’s the third biggest attendance increase.
“Also, just walking around town you see more people in Orioles gear–t-shirts, hats–and there’s just more interest on social media, Twitter, Facebook,” said Orioles Media Director Monica Barlow.
Business owners say they’ve not only noticed a jump in fan excitement with the O’s but they talk with each other and strategize on how to capitalize on that fan excitement.
“We know how busy we’re gonna be based off of the Hampton, based off of the Hilton. When their numbers are up, our numbers are usually gonna be up,” said Pickles Pub General Manager Mike Joyce.
Fans are buying food, merchandise and other concessions at the ballpark. Around town, area bars, restaurants and other businesses are packed on game day.
Having four Orioles in the upcoming all-star game also helps.
“The O’s are great. I mean, we just beat the Yankees. We lost last night, but we just killed them,” said Desirae Nelson.
And hotels are often booked or near-filled when the O’s are in town.
“More fans, more revenue, more shopping, more bars and pubs get business so it’s good for everybody,” said Eddie Dashiell.
Area businesses say they expect to stay busy through the regular season, and they hope to again see the O’s in the playoffs.