Saturday, April 7, 2012

It's a Brand New Ballgame !!!

It's Opening Day at Camden Yards. 

Exactly twenty years since the "Ballpark that Forever Changed Baseball" welcomed fans to enjoy the national pastime in what used to be an old railyard. 

There were skeptics who doubted the wisdom of building a stadium downtown, in a onetime gritty neighborhood.  There were doubts about squeezing in next to a warehouse, which loomed over right field.

Those reservations evaportated sometime before the first pitch.

As proof that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Oriole Park at Camden Yards set not only a standard of design quickly emulated in many of the parks built since, but it inspired reinvestment in urban centers, with access to public transportation and within walking distance of other activities and accommodations that had been lacking in major sports venues.

The critical and commercial success of Oriole Park made something else possible, too.  The internationally recognized sports complex known as Camden Yards occupies 85 acres of prime downtown real estate.  The one-time railyard anchors a transportation hub for commuters as well as fans.  Oriole Park was joined by M&T Bank Stadium in 1998.  Historic Camden Station, constructed prior to the Civil War, was renovated and now houses two museums. 

And then there's the Warehouse.  When Oriole Park was constructed, many of those critics wanted it torn down.  Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed and the 1905 brick structure was restored and converted into offices, facility support, banquet space, restaurants, and retail operations.

Our Warehouse is every bit as iconic as the Green Monster in Boston or the ivy in Wrigley Field.  And to prove it is just as functional as it is recognizable, it holds up the right field lights and a field of telecommunications equipment.

Camden Yards is vibrantly alive throughout the year.  And nowhere is the pulse any stronger than here in the Warehouse.  From our windows we see beyond the light rail to the Inner Harbor on the east, M&T Bank Stadium to the south, Oriole Park to the West, and Camden Station to our north. 

We'll be giving you that view from our Warehouse Window throughout the year, as the change of seasons brings different activities to our complex.  But today, let's celebrate the 20 years we've been here, and what a difference we have made.

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