The Orioles are 523,645 people away from the 50 millionth fan to pass through Camden Yards’ gates since its opening in 1992. If the team’s attendance continues to hover around 27,000 per game, they should hit that mark during or before the Aug. 9 game against the Texas Rangers. (Anyone placing bets?)
O’s spokesman Greg Bader said last week that Camden Yards was the fastest ballpark to reach the 50 million landmark “and probably will be so for quite some time.” Bader added he thought the New York Yankees’ new stadium, scheduled to open next year, stood the best chance to beat the Orioles.
What’s interesting is the logistics of nailing down who exactly will be the 50 millionth fan later this summer. (The O’s are also on pace to host the 100 millionth fan in franchise history this year, which will potentially happen during the late-August series against the Yankees.)
With multiple gates at Camden Yards and people entering at the same time, pinpointing the lucky winner will not be an exact science. The best they can do, Bader said, is track the order of the tickets being scanned for entry as accurately as they can to select and announce who the milestone fan was during the game.
With an enticing prize package provided by the team and partner Maryland Lottery that includes season tickets for five years, $50,000 for the 50 millionth fan and $100,000 for the 100 millionth fan, how bad would you feel if you were the guy that walked in behind the winning ticket? Or what about the people who enter the park at the same time as the winner but at a different gate?
Bader said that everyone at the ballpark those days will receive a commemorative pin (which to me is like letting someone suck on an old piece of gum while you keep the caviar for yourself) but how disappointed would you be if you knew you were within inches of winning the prize?
And because of that, will there be people throwing elbows to get into Orioles Park this August when they’re getting close to the milestone? And does that then make it a great marketing campaign?
LIZ FARMER, Business Writer