Spring Training Guide: Baltimore Orioles

Jeff WolfsonContributor IMarch 11, 2009

Location History

Fort Lauderdale Stadium hosted the Baltimore Orioles in their most recent winning seasons. Baltimore moved to the stadium in 1996 from St. Petersburg. What makes Fort Lauderdale unique for the Orioles is their minor league complex is in Sarasota. Before playing host to the Orioles, Fort Lauderdale Stadium was home to the Yankees.



What you need to know about the area

Fort Lauderdale is the most southern of all the Florida Spring Training complexes. The stadium holds a little more than 8,300 fans and has undergone some renovations since opening in 1962.


Baltimore may not be around for long at Fort Lauderdale because of the minor league complex not being in the same location.


The Orioles only play a few teams each spring because of their location. Washington, Florida, St. Louis, Minnesota and Boston are the most frequent opponents for Baltimore.



Spring Training Moments

I have never been to Spring Training. As someone that covers and follows the Orioles I’m disappointed I’ve never gotten the opportunity to go down and watch the guys play.


The story I can tell is one in which my sister went down to watch the Orioles play and had to come back to Baltimore. Due to weather she had to stay in Florida. An extra around baseball and sunshine, there’s nothing wrong with that.


I would imagine that this season is a pretty wild scene. With new acquisition Koji Uehara the Japanese media contingent is large, especially on days that the former Japanese star pitches.




As I said, I have never been to Spring Training. However, the Orioles, although in a bad run of many consecutive losing seasons, are a storied franchise.


I have heard that the best way to get player autographs is being in the stands and waiting for the players.


With the influx of new, younger talent and extended contracts I’m sure the Orioles players would sign autographs with no problems at all.


Food and Drink

Fort Lauderdale’s concession prices are fair to the fan. Most concessions for a ballgame at Fort Lauderdale are average and there is normal fare for a baseball game. Hot dogs and beer can be had at Fort Lauderdale.


If you’re not at the game, but in the area, the Quarterdeck Restaurant has two locations both within ten miles of the stadium. At the Quarterdeck there is great seafood and good drinks. The prices are good and the game can be enjoyed from either location.



Where to stay?

Flying in from BWI is cheap enough. It is only $158 to fly in to Fort Lauderdale. There are many hotels in the Fort Lauderdale area. Two of the nicer hotels that are fairly close to the stadium are the Sheraton and Hilton.



Games to see


The Orioles play the Red Sox and Mets several times throughout Spring Training. If the beltway rivalry has any meaning, the Orioles and Nationals also play several times, both at Fort Lauderdale Stadium and Space Coast Stadium. The O’s also played Team Italy before the World Baseball Classic started.




When there aren’t games going, there is a fun nightlife in the Fort Lauderdale area. A couple of fun places to go are Tarpon Bend Food & Tackle and Howl at the Moon. Tarpon Bend Food & Tackle is a sports bar, while Howl at the Moon has live music, but it’s not a place for kids.