(Sarasota, FL) An independent economic impact analysis commissioned by Sarasota County Government has concluded that the Baltimore Orioles generate approximately $89 million in annual economic impact back to taxpayers and residents through 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’ current impact is more than two and a half 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 event to benefit the Library Foundation for Sarasota County, the Orioles’ “Eat, Live, and Train like the O’s Health and Fitness Challenge,” 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 were bolstered by record attendance at Spring Training games in 2016. Last spring, the Orioles set a franchise record with 11 sellouts, drawing more than 119,000 fans over 16 home games. That figure is more than double the average Spring Training attendance at Ed Smith Stadium prior to the Orioles’ arrival in Sarasota.
Since the Orioles moved Major League spring training operations to Sarasota in 2010, more than 765,000 fans have attended Orioles Spring Training games at Ed Smith Stadium. Additionally, each year more than 25,000 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.
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