Orioles’ economic impact on spring home better than expected

Since the Orioles moved their spring training home to Sarasota, Fla., in 2010, the economic benefit to the area has far exceeded the club’s projections.

An annual report from the Sarasota County government finds that the Orioles have generated more than $436 million in cumulative economic impact since 2015, the first year comprehensive data became available. The analysis includes both tourism dollars coming from spring training visitors and the effects of year-round business operations in Sarasota.

Ed Smith Stadium.jpgThe most recent reporting period showed a $76 million impact on Sarasota County and a $91 million impact on the state of Florida, nearly twice the figure projected when the Orioles opened their spring facilities in Sarasota in 2010.

“Having reached a cumulative total of $436 million, including $76 million over the last reporting period, the team’s impact goes above and beyond the initial figure that was projected when we made Sarasota our home in 2010,” executive vice president John Angelos said. “This return on investment is a testament to the collaborative partnership between the state of Florida, Sarasota County, the Orioles and the entire Major League Baseball community. Baseball and the Orioles have delivered for fans, families and the community, and we are proud of that track record of giving back.”

Historic attendance at spring training games has fueled the results. The Orioles have averaged nearly 110,000 fans per season at Ed Smith Stadium, reaching the 1 million milestone last year. Nearly 27,000 participants and spectators visit the Orioles complex annually to take part in youth tournaments, baseball clinics, sports leagues and other events managed and frequently subsidized by the club.

Over the past decade, the Orioles have donated more than $3.5 million to local charities in Sarasota that support youth empowerment, education, hunger-fighting initiatives, fitness and healthy living. The Orioles have provided more than $120,000 to local charitable organizations through cash and in-kind contributions.

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