Left Field Dimensions Changing at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Additional Renovations Being Considered

| January 12, 2022 | 0 Comments

The Baltimore Sun is reporting the Orioles are underway on a project to alter the left field dimensions at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. With its reputation as a hitters park, the team is hoping to keep more balls in the yard by moving the left field wall back and raising its height.

From The Baltimore Sun:

The club told The Baltimore Sun it began construction this week to alter Oriole Park at Camden Yards’ left-field dimensions to try to reduce the stadium’s propensity for home runs. The changes — the first to the size of the iconic ballpark’s playing area in two decades — will raise the wall’s height from 7 feet to about 12 feet and move it back as much as 30 feet, according to information provided by the team. Major League Baseball approved the adjustments, which will cover the area from the left-field corner to the bullpens in the left-center field.

The new measurements fall in line with other major league parks. As of 2020, Camden Yards’ 333-foot distance from home plate to the left-field corner was about average for the 30 major league stadiums, though its 364-foot distance to left-center was one of the league’s most reachable for batters. Oriole Park was one of only eight ballparks with a wall shorter than 8 feet in left and had the shortest wall in left-center field of any venue. A 12-foot left-field wall would be tied for the sixth-tallest in the majors.

Construction is expected to be complete by Opening Day, which is scheduled for March 31but subject to change with MLB’s owners locking out the players as the sides slowly work toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

The move will likely also result in a deduction of the 45,971-person capacity at Oriole Park.

The Orioles are also negotiating a new lease with the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) to remain at Oriole Park. The Orioles’ 30-year lease with MSA expired at the end of 2021, but the two sides agreed to a two-year extension last year. The Orioles also have the right to exercise a one-time, five-year extension by February 1, 2023. Both sides are working towards a long-term deal with that will include capital investment into the stadium.

Orioles Senior Vice President Greg Bader told The Baltimore Sun: “We’re now in a position where Camden Yards is still significantly lacking what a lot of newer or renovated ballparks have in terms of those social spaces, those areas for people to engage with baseball the way that people do today.”

He added: “We’re not looking to upend the traditional side of a baseball park. We’re very confident that what makes Camden Yards so special would be able to be retained with whatever we do.”

Ballpark Digest also noted both sides are looking to add a sportsbook to the stadium.

The Ravens are also considering additional improvements next door at M&T Bank Stadium. These improvements include new field-live suites and a new plaza south of the stadium so the stadium can interact better with the growing Warner Street District entertainment development.

An approximately $150 million renovation will begin at Royal Farms Arena at the end of February.

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.