Sarasota County Government’s annual report has found that the Orioles have generated more than $511 million in cumulative economic impact in the state of Florida since 2015, the first year comprehensive data on the team’s impact became available.
The county’s analysis measures the total tourism impact created by the Orioles, combined with the club’s year-round spending and business operations. Despite the shortened Spring Training season and limited public events in 2020, the most recent reporting period showed the Orioles provided a $49 million impact on Sarasota County and $59 million impact on the state of Florida.
“The tremendous public-private partnership between the Orioles, the State of Florida, Sarasota County, and the City of Sarasota has created a blueprint for success in integrating professional sports in the development of the communities they call home,” said John Angelos, Orioles Chairman and CEO. “Our award-winning facility, year-round entertainment, and longstanding commitment to community has generated remarkable economic and civic benefit for the residents of Sarasota County and the state of Florida, a legacy we are proud to uphold year after year.”
The economic impact delivered to Florida residents stems from the club’s year-round efforts to promote tourism in Sarasota and throughout the region. In addition to annual Spring Training operations, the Orioles host a myriad of special events at Ed Smith Stadium and the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex throughout the year, including youth sports tournaments, arts and entertainment programs, and charitable activations. The Orioles also provide tourism-focused marketing to fans across seven Mid-Atlantic states through broadcasts and in-park advertisements.
The club’s results have been bolstered by record attendance at Spring Training games over the last decade, with more than one million fans attending Orioles games in Sarasota since 2010. From 2015-19, Orioles attendees of Orioles’ year-round events spent an average of $58.3 million annually at local hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments - another major contributor to the club’s overall impact on the region.
Beyond the club’s business impact, the Orioles have also been devoted to strengthening the community through charitable initiatives and donations. Over the past decade, the Orioles have donated more than $3.5 million to local charities that support youth empowerment, education, the arts, hunger, fitness, and healthy living.
One of the club’s most impactful programs is the Orioles Health & Fitness Challenge, a five-week curriculum implemented in all 10 Sarasota County middle schools. The program, which reaches more than 4,750 students annually, empowers local youth to embrace physical fitness, healthy eating, and a tobacco-free lifestyle through Orioles-designed workouts and educational courses. Since launching in 2016, this innovative initiative has improved the lives of more than 22,000 Sarasota County children.
In 2020, the club’s philanthropic efforts were refocused to better support Sarasota residents in crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Orioles partnered with All Faiths Food Bank to host monthly food distribution events, which provided more than 200,000 pounds of food to Sarasota families. The team also joined OneBlood in hosting blood drive events at Ed Smith Stadium, helping to gather nearly 200 pints of blood, which saved the lives of more than 570 patients.
For more information on the Orioles’ efforts, please visit Orioles.com/Sarasota.