Orioles generate $97 million economic impact annually


Team’s unique tourism creation, marketing initiatives, and year-round sports, culture, and family recreational events credited for record-breaking economic impact results

The economic impact of the Orioles in Sarasota continued to grow year-over-year to approximately $97 million, according to an independent economic impact analysis commissioned by Sarasota County Government. The annual economic impact delivered to taxpayers and residents results from 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’ $97 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’ annual economic impact result has grown every year that it has been measured by the annual government study. The Orioles’ current impact is nearly three times the $35 million impact the Orioles projected in testimony given before the Florida State Senate in 2004 and the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners in 2009, prior to the relocation of the Orioles’ year-round training headquarters, unique tourism marketing, and community sports park concept to Sarasota.

The analysis, conducted by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc., measured the total tourism impact created by the Orioles and its positive impact on the residents and taxpayers of Sarasota County. 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 weekend, 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 have been bolstered by record attendance at Spring Training games over the last few seasons. Last spring, the Orioles drew 119,742 fans for 17 home games in Sarasota, marking the second-highest spring attendance in club history behind only the 120,455 total set in 2013, and more than double the average Spring Training attendance at Ed Smith Stadium prior to the Orioles’ arrival in Sarasota.

“The entire Orioles organization takes pride in today’s announcement by state and county government recognizing our company’s creation in a single year of $97 million in economic impact benefiting local taxpayers,” said John Angelos, Orioles Executive Vice President. “As Sarasota County’s preeminent sports tourism generator, the club has created more than $500 million and counting in public return on investment during just the first eight years of our training facility’s operation, and our commitment to producing year-round Major and Minor League Baseball games, world class arts and cultural events, and year-round youth training and family recreational programming in the Sarasota community remains unwavering.”

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. In the first quarter of 2015, the Orioles were credited by Sarasota travel authorities for making history in yet another way, when the club’s Sarasota 365 campaign catapulted the Orioles’ Mid-Atlantic region to become the number one source of Sarasota tourism. In 2017, the Baltimore-Washington market generated the second most out-of-state visitors to Sarasota County, surpassed by only the New York City market.

Since the Orioles moved Major League spring training operations to Sarasota in 2010, more than 885,000 fans have enjoyed Orioles Spring Training games at Ed Smith Stadium. Additionally, each year more than 27,000 participants and spectators visit the Orioles complex to participate in youth tournaments, baseball clinics, sports leagues, and other family-friendly and charitable events, which are professionally managed, supported, and frequently financially subsidized by the Orioles.

The attached infographic provides additional details about the year-round impact of the Orioles’ Sarasota 365 initiatives through which the Orioles, MASN, and OriolesREACH demonstrate the ballclub’s 365-day-a-year engagement with the Greater Sarasota Community. For more information on the Orioles’ year-round activities at Ed Smith Stadium and the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex, visit www.orioles.com/sarasota.