BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Opening day at Oriole Park is less than a week away, and some finishing touches are being added as we speak.
This is the stadium’s 25th anniversary, and the monumental celebration starts with a fresh facelift to it kick off.
The WJZ drone captured a bare Oriole Park last November, right before the new field rolled in.
“The turf, like anything else, gets old and it lives its life cycle, so it was time to get something new out here,” said head groundskeeper Nicole McFadyen. “Newer genetics, newer varieties that are better for the mid-Atlantic.”
Covering nearly two acres with 100 percent Kentucky bluegrass. It’s an upgrade that took meticulous effort to develop.
“I want [fans] to see green first of all, because this winter and everything going into this spring has been blah, so I want the reaction to be ‘Wow! This looks amazing,” said McFadyen.
The grounds crew works year-round to get the field looking and operating perfectly, and it’s actually during the off season when they get the most work done.
Paying great attention to every detail, there’s not an inch that goes unnoticed. Even the irrigation system is monitored 24 hours a day.
“Computer system will send me alerts if anything is wrong with the system and it will shut it down so no harm is done,” McFadyen said.
Some may even argue Birdland is one of the best baseball stadiums in the country. From the field, to the stands, it’s a well earned title they love to showcase.
“We have to be [perfect], because playability is number one for athletes. If they have to come out here, and they’re not playing on a prime surface, then that affects the game, so we do everything we can to make it as perfect as possible.”