Reporting Gigi Barnett
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Supporting the Birds. New numbers released this week reveal fan attendance at Oriole Park is up–way up.
Gigi Barnett explains the O’s fans are leading the league in increased game attendance.
The Orioles are hitting it out of the park and still in the running to make the playoffs the second year in a row. As a result, home games at Camden Yards are packed. and O’s are beating out all other baseball teams when it comes to growth in fan attendance.
“Winning helps,” said Orioles spokesman Greg Bader.
Indeed it does. Another thing that’s drawing more fans to the games: Oriole Park itself, which is consistently voted one of the nation’s top 10 ballparks.
“That’s something we’ve invested greatly in, is the ballpark experience, the improvements to the facility, the new food offerings,” Bader said.
“We’re excited,” said Joe Friedman.
It’s part of the reason why Friedman traveled from Rhode Island to see this weekend’s home game.
On average, nearly 30,000 fans attend Oriole Park this season per game. That’s up by about 15 percent from last year. Friedman believes last season’s playoff run sparked a fan frenzy.
“It hasn’t been a lot to be happy about because of the records they’ve had,” he said. “But the last couple of years have been excellent. It’s kind of rejuvenated the Oriole base.”
Just as the team has inspired fans, the Orioles say the feeling is mutual.
“The players have been very vocal in saying that last year’s postseason drive was in part driven by the tremendous crowds we saw down the stretch in August and September last year,” Bader said.
The team with the lowest number of fans attending home games is the Florida Marlins, with just 36 percent.
The Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays rank second and third in the highest increased fan attendance.