BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Orioles’ $89 million economic output is a record for sports tourism creation in Sarasota County, far surpassing any current or past sports facility or private sports operator.
The Orioles give back to taxpayers and residents through the club’s marketing and promotion of Sarasota tourism to its fan base across seven Mid-Atlantic states combined with the commercial activity and corporate presence of the Orioles’ athletic training headquarters, production of public sporting and other entertainment events, and management of youth sports tournaments and recreational programs.
The Orioles’ current impact is more than two and a half times the $35 million impact the Orioles projected to the Florida State Senate in 2004 and the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners in 2009.
The ballclub generates quantitative economic impact in the following ways:
• Year-round professional event management, including production of Major League baseball games, commerce, training, and rehabilitation during Spring Training and year-round.
• Year-round production of Minor League games, commerce, and training throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall months, including presentation at the Ed Smith Stadium of the home schedule of the Gulf Coast League Orioles, along with Minor League training throughout the year.
• Presentation of a series of arts, culture, and community events and programming, including the Orioles’ “Arts in the Ballpark” series, featuring the Sarasota Orchestra, “Nashville’s Music Row Comes to the Ballpark” fundraising event to benefit the Library Foundation for Sarasota County, the Orioles’ “Eat, Live, and Train like the O’s Health and Fitness Challenge,” and youth baseball tournaments held for tens of thousands of tourists and locally-based families.
• Sarasota 365 marketing and promotion campaign executed by the Orioles to benefit Sarasota County’s “Visit Sarasota” tourism agency and employing Orioles multimedia television, digital, social media, and radio platforms, as well as at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, driving fans based in the Mid-Atlantic to vacation in, invest in, and retire to Sarasota County.
The Orioles’ results were bolstered by record attendance at Spring Training games in 2016.
Last spring, the Orioles set a franchise record with 11 sellouts, drawing more than 119,000 fans over 16 home games. In 2016, the Baltimore-Washington market generated the second most out-of-state visitors to Sarasota County, surpassed only by the New York City market.
“Through an aggressive, year-round, multi-platform marketing effort, the Orioles continue to drive tourists from the Mid-Atlantic to Sarasota County,” said David Rovine, Vice President, Orioles-Sarasota.
As a result of the unique and valuable tourism-focused media and promotional programs pioneered by the Orioles to support Visit Sarasota, the number of yearly first-quarter visitors from the Mid-Atlantic region has grown by more than 300% since 2009.