A season to forget for the Baltimore Orioles will become a night to remember for about 90 disadvantaged Anne Arundel County children.
The county traded in its unused Orioles season tickets for 93 lower-priced seats that will be given to children and a few parents who livein county public housing, Economic Development Officer Sam Minnitte said.
"We had the tickets, and we thought it was a good idea to spread the wealth," Minnitte said.
Season ticket holders can exchange unused tickets for lower-priced tickets to a single game a few times a year, Minnitte said. Wednesday night's game against the New York Yankees is one of the games set aside for exchanges. The county will provide transportation for the children and their parents.
The county pays $3,654 for four box-seat tickets to all 81 home games at MemorialStadium, and an additional $324 for a parking space.
The county uses the tickets to entertain business representatives. But as of lastmonth, businesses had used the tickets only seven times in 44 home games. County employees had used them about a third of the time.
Minnitte said the sluggish economy and the sixth-place Orioles' poor play contributed to the lack of business attendance.
"In a given year, when the economy's better, and frankly, when the Orioles are doingbetter, we use about two-thirds of them for business," Minnitte said.
He predicted businesses would make better use of the tickets next year, when the Orioles move to a new stadium at Camden Yards. Moneyfor the tickets was approved in this year's budget, although the tickets may not survive budget cuts.
"We don't belong to yacht clubs or country clubs or anything like that, so it's our only way to entertain clients," he said. "The Orioles are a unique regional attraction."