See the O's in Sarasota

The Orioles released their 2011 spring training schedule today for what will be their second year now in Sarasota, Fla., but their first in the newly renovated Ed Smith Stadium.

You can take a behind the scenes tour, led by Vice President of Planning and Development Janet Marie Smith, to get a look at some of the changes you can expect to see at the new facility by clicking here.

The O's 2011 spring schedule affords you 16 opportunities to catch an early look at the Birds in Sarasota, with the first home game scheduled for Tuesday, March 1 against the Tampa Bay Rays. (The O's open their spring schedule against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Fla. on Monday, February 28.)

And conveniently for those headed south for a little vacation time that includes some Orioles baseball, the first Saturday game of the spring is a home game against the O's AL East rivals the Boston Red Sox.

Anyone planning a trip to check out the new facility? The Sarasota Convention and Visitor's Bureau's website offers up a good bit of info that you might find useful in planning your stay, including a trip planner, dining suggestions, a calendar of events in the area and more.

According to a release sent out by the Orioles, "Enhancements to the fan experience include the addition of a two-story concourse with shaded views of the playing field; a new stucco façade with tile accents; refurbished stadium seats directly from Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore; additional private suites and party facilities; and a state-of-the-art audio/video system and video board."

"Improvements to the player facilities include new dugouts and bullpens; a new half field with AstroTurf; refurbished batting cages; and a practice field with the same dimensions as Oriole Park at Camden Yards."

So even though tickets for spring training games are not yet on sale, you can start marking your calendars now; the Orioles will announce player report dates and an on-sale date for spring training tickets at a later time.


Baltimore Orioles 2011 Spring Training Schedule:

Monday, February 28: Pittsburgh Pirates (ss) - Bradenton - 1:05

Tuesday, March 1: Tampa Bay Rays - Sarasota - 1:05

Wednesday, March 2: Philadelphia Phillies - Clearwater - 1:05

Thursday, March 3: Minnesota Twins - Sarasota - 1:05

Friday, March 4: Detroit Tigers - Lakeland - 1:05

Saturday, March 5: Boston Red Sox (ss) - Sarasota - 1:05

Sunday, March 6: Minnesota Twins - Lee County - 1:05

Monday, March 7: New York Yankees (ss) - Sarasota - 7:05

Boston Red Sox (ss) - Fort Myers - 1:05

Tuesday, March 8: Philadelphia Phillies - Clearwater - 1:05

Wednesday, March 9: Minnesota Twins - Sarasota - 1:05

Thursday, March 10: Pittsburgh Pirates - Bradenton - 7:05

Friday, March 11: Philadelphia Phillies - Sarasota - 1:05

Saturday, March 12: Houston Astros - Orlando - 1:05

Sunday, March 13: Detroit Tigers - Sarasota - 1:05

Monday, March 14: Pittsburgh Pirates - Sarasota - 1:05

Tuesday, March 15: Houston Astros - Sarasota - 1:05

Wednesday, March 16: New York Yankees - Tampa - 1:05

Thursday, March 17: Pittsburgh Pirates - Bradenton - 1:05

Friday, March 18: Minnesota Twins - Sarasota - 7:05

Saturday, March 19: Philadelphia Phillies - Sarasota - 1:05

Sunday, March 20: Tampa Bay Rays - Charlotte County - 1:05

Monday, March 21: Off day

Tuesday, March 22: New York Yankees - Sarasota - 1:05

Wednesday, March 23: Minnesota Twins - Lee County - 7:05

Thursday, March 24: Pittsburgh Pirates - Sarasota - 7:05

Friday, March 25: Minnesota Twins - Lee County - 1:05

Saturday, March 26: Detroit Tigers - Lakeland - 1:05

Sunday, March 27: Boston Red Sox (ss) - Sarasota - 1:05

Toronto Blue Jays (ss) - Dunedin - 1:05

Monday, March 28: Detroit Tigers - Sarasota - 1:05

Tuesday, March 29: Toronto Blue Jays - Sarasota - 1:05

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