Architects give ballpark thumbs-up

April 04, 1992|By Edward Gunts

While most of the fans at yesterday's game were watching the action on the field and familiarizing themselves with the Orioles' new home, one group was paying close attention to the fans themselves.

Architects Joe Spear, Ben Barnert, Stephen Evans and Tom Usher of HOK Sports Facilities Group spent the day wandering all around the ballpark to see how well it functioned with people in it.

Their verdict is that despite a few minor glitches, such as longer-than-expected lines at the club level concession areas, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is ready for the pomp and circumstance of Opening Day.

"We have a real good feeling about it," Spear said. "The biggest problem I heard of is that the computer system went on the fritz and they had problems keeping track of the concessions. To see people coming in from all directions and the color all around, it really activates the area."

"It's so different to see it full of people," Barnert said. "I'm used to seeing it full of contractors. It's a sad time for us, in a way, because it's no longer our house. It's the people's house."

Barnert said the highlight of the day for him was "just walking around and seeing people's reactions. You see a lot of smiles, and you know they like it."

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