About to enter its 20th anniversary season and still one of the best, Camden Yards is to undergo renovations this offseason that will improve sightlines and give fans roomier seats. In turn, the park's going to become just a bit smaller.
At the request of the Orioles, more spacious seats are to be installed on the club level and upper deck at Camden Yards, and sightlines on both levels are to be improved by the installation of less intrusive railings. Seating capacity will be reduced from 48,290 to 45,971, keeping in line with the capacities of many recently opened parks.
The Maryland Stadium Authority is heading up the work as part of its deferred maintenance program. Concrete is to be repaired and seats are to be replaced in the lower level outfield, the club level and the upper deck. The changes are expected to be approved by the Board of Public Works on Nov. 17.
All seats in the lower level from foul pole to foul pole were replaced last offseason.
A few more improvements are also on the way for Camden Yards, which opened in 1992. Drink rails are to be installed in portions of the club level seating bowl down the outfield lines, and on the left-field club level, there will be bistro tables facing the field, thus creating a viewing deck.
"This new style of casual seating in select areas will enhance the experience at Oriole Park for fans looking for a more social atmosphere," Orioles communications director Greg Bader said. "These additions, along with new seats throughout the ballpark, are designed to make our fans more comfortable while preserving the Camden Yards aesthetic."
Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.