O's had a banner season at new home, financially

October 09, 1992|By Kent Baker and David Conn | Kent Baker and David Conn,Staff Writers

Although the Orioles came up short at the batter's box this year, from a financial standpoint, they won the pennant.

The first season at the Camden Yards stadium exceeded the economic impact projected by the state by about 11 percent, according to a study by the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development's office of research.

The fiscal effect on the state from the Orioles' 80 home games totaled $226.5 million in gross sales and $76.7 million in employee income, stemming from the equivalent of more than 2,340 full-time jobs the stadium created, the study showed.

Before the season, DEED had projected $204 million in gross sales, $70 million in employee income and 2,100 full-time equivalent jobs.

The figures include revenue and jobs produced at the stadium as well as throughout the state as a result of the stadium.

Statewide tax receipts stemming from the home games stadium amounted to $9.4 million, and local tax receipts totaled more than $6.4 million. The taxes came in 11.4 percent higher than predicted.

"Obviously, this is an economic development tool," Gov. William Donald Schaefer said at a news conference yesterday. "The ballpark's potential to benefit our people and our state has become a reality."

The figures released yesterday did not show comparable figures for the years in which the Orioles played at Memorial Stadium.

The DEED study, which examined game-day expenditures by visiting teams and fans on goods and services, used information provided by the Maryland Stadium Authority, the Orioles, The Sun and DEED's Tourism Economic Impact Model.

It showed that direct fan expenditures -- on items like tickets, concessions, souvenirs, parking, transportation and lodging -- together with visiting-team outlays produced $117 million in gross sales, $44 million in employee income and the equivalent of 1,500 full-time jobs.

Day-trip fans provided the bulk of that money, spending $70 million and supporting $29 million in pay to 850 employees.

Overnight fans were the next-biggest spenders, at almost $46 million. Their money supported 664 employees earning $15 million.

The commercial sports and amusement industry took in $34 million during the season.

Eating and drinking establishments can thank the new stadium to the tune of $25 million, and hotel and lodging places collected just a shade under that, according to the DEED study.

Even before the first toss in April, Camden Yards was one of the largest sources of economic largess in the state. Construction spending topped $140 million, and the equivalent of 944 full-time jobs were created at a payroll cost of $47 million.

The Orioles finished the 1992 season with 59 consecutive sellouts and 67 sellouts overall in 80 home dates. Average home attendance was 44,598 -- 93 percent of capacity.

Total attendance was a record 3,567,819, about 1 million more than at Memorial Stadium last season.

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