Orioles announce 2011 opening day plans

The Orioles have announced plans for the first home game of their 58th season and their 20th year at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The team will face the Detroit Tigers on Monday, April 4, at 3:05 p.m.

PRE-GAME FUN AROUND THE YARD

To allow fans the opportunity to experience the excitement of Opening Day, the entire ballpark will open at noon on Monday. Each fan will receive a 2011 schedule/car magnet, courtesy of Brothers Services Company, at the gates. Roving musical groups will entertain fans on Eutaw Street and the main concourses.


PRE-GAME CEREMONIES

PLAYER INTRODUCTIONS

Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 2:30 p.m., when pre-game ceremonies will begin. MASN personality Jim Hunter will serve as emcee for the pre-game festivities.

In a continuation of the Opening Day tradition, Orioles players and coaches will be introduced prior to the game. Orioles players will run through the center field gate on an orange carpet and take their places between first base and second base. Manager BUCK SHOWALTER, coaches and staff will be introduced from the Orioles dugout. Members of the Tigers will be announced and will run from their dugout to line up between second base and third base.

OriolesREACH has arranged for 90 children from the Maryland National Guard Child & Youth Program to line the orange carpet holding Orioles flags during player introductions. The Maryland National Guard Child & Youth Program works towards the goal of meeting the social, emotional and educational needs of military children.

For the 18th straight season, one fan will be chosen to represent all Orioles fans as the team's "10th man". The fan will be introduced as a part of the Orioles starting lineup during the pre-game ceremonies.

FIRST PITCH

Hall of Fame Orioles Manager Earl Weaver will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, which will be caught by current skipper Buck Showalter, prior to the game. Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996, Weaver managed the Orioles for 17 seasons, compiling a .583 winning percentage and piloting the team to their second World Series Championship in 1970.

NATIONAL ANTHEM & GOD BLESS AMERICA

American tenor Richard Troxell will perform the National Anthem. Troxell, a native of Thurmont, Maryland, has an extensive resume of film and theater performance experience both in the United States and abroad. Troxell will also sing "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch. This year marks the eighth time he has performed the National Anthem on Orioles Opening Day.

During the anthem, a 30'x 42' American flag from Fort McHenry will be unfurled over the batter's eye wall in center field. The flag is a replica of the one that flew over Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem.

Colors will be presented by the United States Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington and by the Combined Honor Guard Team of the Baltimore City Police and Fire Departments.

The anthem will culminate with a flyover by the 104th Fighter Squadron from the Maryland Air National Guard.

NEW IN 2011 SEATING BOWL

This past off-season, the Maryland Stadium Authority completed the final phase of the replacement of the seats in the Oriole Park seating bowl as part of their deferred maintenance program. During the 2009 off-season, all seats in the lower level from foul pole to foul pole were replaced, along with necessary repairs to the concrete in this area. The work concluded this past winter, as MSA repaired concrete and replaced seats in the lower level outfield, as well as on the entire club level and upper deck.

At the request of the Orioles, the club level and upper deck at Camden Yards were furnished with wider seats that are more comfortable for fans. In addition, sightlines for fans on both of those levels are improved, as new, less intrusive railings enhance the view of those sitting in the first few rows of both levels, as well as fans sitting in and around upper deck equal access and companion seats.

CLUB LEVEL

Other ballpark improvements include drink rail seating in portions of the club level down the left field and right field lines to accommodate more than 100 fans. In addition, 15 field-view bistro tables, each seating four fans, have been installed in the left field club level in sections 282-288.

The Miller Lite Flite Deck, serving 90 fans, has been added to the right field club level, and several single-occupancy day-of-game suites have been combined to form larger club suites. These new seating options are designed to provide a more casual, social environment for fans to enjoy their in-park experience.

Based on the improvements outlined above and in keeping with trends in baseball, the seating capacity of Oriole Park at Camden Yards has been reduced to 45,971 from 48,290.

LOWER LEVEL CONCOURSE

On the lower level concourse, murals and new interior designs will create a more inviting atmosphere for fans. The Home Plate Plaza lobby entrance, located between Gates D and E, has been refurbished, including new granite tile flooring.

Birdland Memories billboards, featuring 13 of the greatest moments and accomplishments in Orioles history, have been placed throughout the lower concourse. Such memories include celebrations of the three World Series Championships, Cal Ripken's record-setting 2131 game, and the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

A series of graphics featuring the lyrics to many of the songs that are a part of Orioles history, including "Orioles Magic" and "Pennant Fever," have been displayed throughout several ballpark stairwells.

CONCESSIONS

The Orioles and new concessions and retail operator Delaware North Sportservice have collaborated on an $11 million project to redesign and enhance the food and beverage stands at the ballpark, the first effort of this magnitude since Camden Yards opened in 1992. As part of the investment, new concessions-related technology has been added, including a point-of-sale system that will allow for "belly-up" style service, enhancing customer service and shortening wait times.

New grills and other equipment have also been added so that a wider variety of food items can be prepared fresh in front of fans.

Concessions stands have undergone a significant re-branding and makeover, including new stand names, graphics and food and beverage offerings. The newly re-branded concessions stands include:

O What a Dog!
Baltimore Chop House
Das Sausage Haus
Baseline Burgers
By the Slice Pizza

More permanent kiosks have also been added to the concourse areas to allow for a greater variety of food and beverage offerings, including Old Bay Seafood and Polock Johnny's Famous Polish Sausage.


The renovations include three new bars and restaurants at Camden Yards:

Café 54, named in honor of the year Major League Baseball returned to Baltimore, will be located on the south end of Eutaw Street

· Natty Boh Bar, featuring National Bohemian beer and "early bird" specials, will be found on the first base side of the lower concourse

· Free State Pub, featuring local Maryland and regional craft and specialty beers, will be located on the third base side of the lower concourse

ORIOLES TEAM STORE AND RETAIL

In addition to the newly improved Orioles Official Team Store on Eutaw Street, two more retail locations have been added: a Brand 47 Orioles Store on the first base side of the lower concourse and an Orioles T-shirt Shop, featuring customizable t-shirts, on the third base side of lower concourse.

ROCK AND WRAP IT UP! PROGRAM

The Orioles and Delaware North Sportservice have partnered with global sustainability think tank, Rock and Wrap It Up! Inc. this season to redistribute prepared but untouched concession items to local food banks and charitable agencies that focus on feeding the hungry.

Since its inception in 1991, Rock and Wrap It Up! Inc. has collected more than 500 million pounds of food and fed more than 750 million people. The Maryland Food Bank has partnered with Rock and Wrap It Up! to recover the food.

SECURITY MEASURES

The Orioles have one of the most liberal food policies in professional sports. Outside food and beverages may be brought into Camden Yards, subject to the following guidelines:

· Soft-sided and paper bags are permitted at Oriole Park, as long as they fit into a 16" x 16" x 8" container. Hard-sided coolers, thermoses, glass bottles, cans or alcoholic beverages are not permitted into the ballpark.

· Non-alcoholic beverages in plastic bottles are permitted into the park. All items will be checked at the gates and any beverage which has been opened or partially consumed prior to entry is subject to confiscation if it is thought to contain alcohol. In addition, no plastic or paper cups of beverages are permitted into the park at the entry gates.

· All items permitted into the ballpark will be inspected. No bags or items exceeding the maximum size of 16" x 16" x 8" are allowed into the ballpark.

· No containers or unauthorized items can be left at any park entrance.

· No re-entry will be permitted once a fan has entered the ballpark gates.

· Only vehicles dropping off or picking up guests with disabilities are permitted to stop curbside at the ballpark. No other vehicles are permitted curbside, nor are people able to stand and wait with vehicles.

OPENING DAY TIMING

Noon Gates Open
2:05-2:25 Field Preparation
12:25-1:25 Orioles Batting Practice
2:30 Ceremonies Begin
1:25-2:05 Tigers Batting Practice
3:05 Play Ball!