BACK STORY FROM HERALD TRIBUNE REPORTER ZACH MURDOCK WRITES: December 29th, 2016, Sarasota County filed a lawsuit on November 30th, 2016 against Gilbane Building the company that renovated Ed Smith Stadium because of cracks and defects in the concrete concourse at the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training home in Sarasota. The county claims Gilbane Building Co.’s work at the stadium in the past five years led to repeated problems with cracks in the concourse and the MMA flooring resin that was later installed to fix the original issues, according to the lawsuit. The $32 million stadium renovation project began in 2010, almost a year after the county and Orioles struck a deal to upgrade Ed Smith to keep the team in town. Manatee County-based W.G. Mills, later acquired by Gilbane, won the contract and the project reached substantial completion just days ahead of the team’s 2011 spring training opener.
In the spring of 2012, however, cracks were discovered in the concrete throughout the concourse area at Ed Smith Stadium, according to the lawsuit. A year later in 2013, Gilbane installed methyl methacrylate adhesive (MMA) flooring resin across the entire concourse per the company’s warranty on the stadium work. But the problems did not stop. In the summer of 2013, the MMA floor covering began to show signs of “bubbling and cracking,” both sides agree in court records. Those problem areas were replaced under warranty in January 2014, but the bubbling and cracking in the MMA reappeared just a few months later that “were more extensive and include areas that had previously been repaired,” according to the county’s complaint. Sarasota County leaders put Gilbane on notice of the ongoing issues a year later and temporary repairs were completed to accommodate the 2015 spring training schedule, “but the problems with the flooring still exist and remain unresolved,” according to the county’s complaint. But again the problems did not stop. See Complaint filed by Sarasota County on Builder Gilbane on November 30th 2016 at this link https://res.cloudinary.com/sagacity/image/upload/v1482870143/Sarasota_County_vs._Gilbane_Building_Company__1__qbog9h.pdf
Despite attempts to mediate a settlement throughout 2016, the Sarasota County Commission unanimously authorized the lawsuit on November 30th 2016. Gilbane does not dispute the problems with the concourse and MMA flooring occurred. The Orioles will play their spring training home opener Feb. 26 2017 at Ed Smith Stadium. The 1:05 p.m. game is against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Sarasota County knew defective MMA flooring problems existed all over Ed Smith stadium creating trip hazards for the unknowing baseball fans prior to the start of Spring 2017 baseball games. County Commissioner Charles Hines, who chairs the council, explained that the MMA flooring in ed stadium was defective and needed to be replaced.
MMA resin flooring at Ed Smith Stadium Sarasota Fl was unsafe for fans during the Baltimore Orioles 2017 Spring Training baseball games and Sarasota County knew it. Photos were taken in November 2017 and at that time no repairs had been made to any of the defective MMA flooring, they were found in the exact same condition as on March 30th, 2017 when the baseball fan injured his knee on the 2nd floor concourse defective flooring LEADING TO THE STAIRCASE. Defective MMA Flooring at Sarasota's 'Ed Smith Stadium' Baltimore Orioles During 2017 Spring Training Games Caused Fan to Severely Injure Knee On Staircase, County Balks at Paying his Extensive Medical Bills, loss of past and future income and compensation for his loss of quality of life, the fan now has a permanent limp.
After filling out a short report for the Sarasota County Fire Dept EMS medics, the baseball fan was wheel chaired out to his car across the street in the Stardust Skate Center parking lot. No first aid was administered by Sarasota County EMS at Ed Smith Stadium of any kind, no wrap for the knee was mentioned or offered by Sarasota County EMS, no mention of transportation to Sarasota Memorial Hospital was mentioned Sarasota County Fire Dept EMS medics or instructions to get an x-ray. All of this activity in the First Aid room by the Sarasota County Fire Dept EMS medics and in the parking lot was witnessed by the baseball fan's friend who also witnessed the fan walking about without any difficulties prior to the incident on the stairs. Apparently the Sarasota County EMS at Ed Smith Stadium did not want to get 'involved'.
What's Wrong with the Baltimore Orioles Spring Training Facility at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota Fl It's Sinking! Sarasota's Ed Smith stadium was built on the site of a landfill, a dump site. When you become head grounds keeper for a world-class baseball field, you don’t expect it to be built on top of a landfill. But, for Dan Thomas’ Ed Smith Stadium, training facility for the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota, Florida, that’s exactly what happened. Beneath the 2.5 acres of manicured 54 Bermuda grass lies an old landfill. “We don’t have the best growing conditions,” admits Dan. “It’s been a difficult time to get the grass growing consistently. And, when we do renovations, it’s not unusual to find trash and maybe even a tire or two.” "A lot of the irrigation work has some interesting objects around it. We have had irrigation lines running through a car, underground. When we have had irrigation line breaks and we dig the holes to repair them, we’ve pulled out full-size car tires, women’s purses, etc. It’s interesting what we find in the ground here, said Dan Thomas.”
Defective MMA flooring replaced December 21st, 2017....As Sarasota County remains embroiled in a lawsuit with Gilbane Building Contractors over the defective flooring issue, a contractor has been hired by Sarasota County on a NO BID $1.1 Million contract working to replace defective flooring at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota for the 2018 spring baseball games, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. In response to a News Leader question, county Media Relations Officer Drew Winchester reported in a December 20th 2017 email that the contractor PremUS of Orlando was nearly finished with the second floor MMA flooring of the facility and had completed approximately one-third of the first floor. Why did Sarasota County pay out $1,079,243.00 for replacement of the defective MMA resin flooring when they were already suing the builder to replace it, what the hell?
Baltimore Orioles were set to begin spring training at Ed Smith stadium on Feb. 23rd 2018, facing the Tampa Bay Rays at 1:05 p.m.. County Commissioner Charles Hines, who chairs the council, explained that the MMA resin flooring in Ed Smith stadium was defective. He and his colleagues felt the county needed to go ahead and replace it, he added, even though the county has continued to seek a resolution of the issue with the construction manager Gilbane that handled stadium renovations for the Orioles. “We don’t want you to think that … we’re not seeking to get [the money] back, $1,079,243.00 ,” he told the council members. Delaying the installation to after Spring Training 2018 would require the additional cost of temporary and unsightly repairs to make the surfaces that are failing safe for the baseball fans.
HERALD TRIBUNE WRITES on Sarasota County to use $16.5 Million of tourism money to fix Ed Smith baseball stadium despite business community outcry. MORE MONEY FOR REPAIRS: The Sarasota County Commission on Tuesday decided to shift money from the tourism promotions budget to pay for repairs on the deteriorating Ed Smith Stadium, despite pleas from local merchants devastated by toxic red tide who claim the marketing money is vital to keeping their businesses alive.:
A unanimous commission voted to move promotions funds generated by the tourist development tax away from marketing the county to help cover repair costs to the spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles, which will need $16.5 million in fixes over the next 10 years. The work includes renovations of two fields, a new irrigation system, lightning protection, defective resin flooring repairs, fencing, roof replacement and parking lot repairs. The county and the Baltimore Orioles each contribute $150,000 annually to a capital expense fund, but those contributions won’t cover the repairs. According to the county’s memorandum of understanding with the Orioles, it is responsible for anything the fund cannot cover, parks officials have said.
USA TODAY February 23rd, 2018, Ed Smith Stadium is the top venue among Major League Baseball spring training sites in Florida and Arizona, according to a study conducted for USA TODAY by data-mining firm ReviewTrackers. The study analyzed 36,000 online reviews of the 23 stadiums for how fans felt about the facility, food and drink and the overall experience, the Baltimore Orioles organization said. In the eight years since the Orioles moved Major League Spring Training to Sarasota, more than 885,000 fans have enjoyed Orioles games at Ed Smith Stadium.
SARASOTA's POT OF GOLD AT ED SMITH STADIUM: An independent analysis commissioned by Sarasota County government released the week of 2/23/3018 concluded that the Orioles generate approximately $97 million in annual economic impact back to taxpayers and residents. The city of Sarasota paid an estimated $31 million to renovate Ed Smith Stadium, which reopened for the Orioles spring training in 2011. So why is Sarasota County, which OWNS Ed Smith Stadium and rakes in $97 Mill a year balking at paying the medical bills and loss of income for a fan injured at Ed Smith stadium due to the defective MMA resin flooring on March 30th, 2017, that Sarasota County has repeatedly admitted to the media that the all the flooring in the stadium was defective?
MONEY, MONEY AND MORE MONEY.....The Baltimore Orioles closed out their spring training 2018 season in Sarasota in much the same way they’ve done it for the last 10 years: with more than 100,000 fans passing through the gates. In attracting 103,294 fans to Ed Smith Stadium, the Orioles sold out six of 15 games this spring, including 8,792 to see the New York Yankees on March 14. The team averaged 6,886 fans per home game, (generating over a $100 Million dollar economic impact for Sarasota County for the month of March 2018). It was the eighth time in nine years the American League-East team broke the 100,000 attendance mark. “Each spring we enjoy outstanding support from our fans, from those local to Sarasota to our many visitors from the Mid-Atlantic region,” said David Rovine, Vice President of Orioles-Sarasota.
“As we prepare to welcome our one millionth fan next season, we are especially proud that our facilities at Ed Smith Stadium and Twin Lakes Park continue to thrive as first-class destinations for baseball and entertainment – from Spring Training, Orioles Major and Minor League operations, and Gulf Coast League Baseball, to countless clinics, tournaments, and other baseball, arts, and community events throughout the year.’ Orioles Spring Training Attendance in 2017 Ranks Second Highest In Club History With the March 30th 2017 crowd of 6,900 (day fan injured his knee due to defective flooring) for this season’s Spring Training finale at Ed Smith Stadium, the Orioles have drawn a total of 119,742 fans for 17 home games in Sarasota during 2017, the second-highest spring attendance in club history behind only the 120,455 total set in 2013. Since moving Major League operations to Sarasota, 885,055 fans have enjoyed Orioles Spring Training baseball at Ed Smith Stadium and have had six consecutive sellouts from March 16 to March 27, helping the club to finish among the best in attendance in the Grapefruit League this spring. Ed Smith stadium Sarasota Fl also has the highest drink and food prices in all of the South West Florida spring training facilities.
As per the original blueprints for the installation of the MMA flooring back in 2013 to cover the cracked concrete floors, the MMA flooring would be installed on the 1st floor and 2nd floor concourses but not on the stairs or landings of the 2 Grand staircases from the 1st floor to the 2nd floor. The steps and concrete landings appears to be sealed concrete in the metal staircase steps and landing. Two different surfaces, smooth MMA flooring and rough texture concrete steps and landings abutting each other.
Defective MMA Resin flooring, open seams, on the 2nd floor concourse near the staircase at Ed Smith Stadium caused baseball fan to trip and stumble onto the 1st step going down on the Grand Course Staircase, injuring his right knee on March 30th, 2017. Sarasota County has had issues with the Builder, Gilbane, on the defective flooring for years dating back to the summer of 2013 when all the MMA resin flooring started to go bad.
All the MMA resin flooring had been replaced with new at Ed Smith Stadium by 1st week of January 2018 at a cost of $1,079,243.00 and paid for by Sarasota County just before start of the '2018 SPRING TRAINING BASEBALL GAMES'. The seams are in the same place as they were on March 30th 2017 when the baseball fan was injured. Sarasota County shelled out $1,079,243.00 in January 2018 to replace all the defective MMA flooring to safeguard the Spring 2018 baseball fans, too bad this was not done in 2017 to safeguard the Spring 2017 fans.
Why wasn't the defective flooring replaced in early January 2017 to safeguard the 8,500 fans who showed up for every game during the 2017 SPRING TRAINING BASEBALL GAMES, the floors did not get any better with age?
During a November review of 2017 fiscal year expenditures out of county Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue, a member of the county’s Tourist Development Council noted one line item, which said, “Stadium Repair & Improvement.” “Is that something new? Did this come up before?” Mayor Terry Gans of Longboat Key asked.
The MMA resin flooring requires seams every so often, all the seams in the new MMA resin flooring, as of January 2018, are basically in the same place as on March 30th 2017 when the baseball fan was injured, see photo above. There is a seam located just 2 feet from the edge of the staircase on the 2nd floor concourse and it is in a bad place for such a high traffic area, same as on March 30th 2017.
The baseball fan had his knee surgically repaired at Sarasota Memorial Hospital by a Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Doctor on April 26, 2017. The MMA resin flooring at Ed Smith Stadium Sarasota Fl was unsafe for fans during all the Spring of 2017 baseball games. See below statements made by officials with Sarasota County as to why they spent $1,079,243.00 to replace all the MMA resin flooring in Ed Smith Stadium in December 2017 and January 2018, after the fact, even though they have an active lawsuit filed against Gilbane Building contractors in November 2016 to replace same flooring, FREE OF CHARGE.
Case Number: 2016 CA 006035 NC
OPEN SARASOTA COUNTY (Plaintiff)
GILBANE BUILDING COMPANY (Defendant)
CONSTRUCTION DEFECT FLOORING
It appears safety for the fans was the reason for the replacement of ALL the MMA flooring in the stadium during December 2017 and January 2018. Sarasota County did not want anyone tripping and falling down as the Baltimore Orioles spring training games begin on February 23rd 2018. Too bad they didn't make the repairs before the March 2017 season and let fans fend for themselves with open seams and trip points everywhere in the defective MMA flooring.
Stadium concourse defective floor replacement - $1,079,300
Practice Field 4 renovations - $319,794
Barrier netting along 10th Street - $136,421
Stadium dugout floor replacement - $18,431
Stadium plumbing upgrades - $3,392
Women's bathroom upgrades - $2,275
Ramp at main gate - $2,908
Costs were split with the Orioles on all of the projects above except the stadium concourse floor replacement. The majority of money came from the county’s capital expenditure contributions fund, with about $70,000 coming from the Orioles to help pay for a protective net along 10th Street to prevent batted balls from practice fields from striking vehicles. The county has applied for FEMA reimbursement for repairs directly related to the storm.
Apparently all the MMA resin flooring at Ed Smith Stadium Sarasota Fl was unsafe for fans during all the Spring of 2017 baseball games. After the March 2017 season, team and county officials decided to spend more than $1 million for a full-scale re-installation of the stadium’s flooring. Since 2012 the facility had needed annual fixes to replace broken and bubbling portions of the MMA resin flooring on the concourses.
Pat Calhoon, a manager with the county’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources department said 83% of the floor space has been replaced as of Jan. 24, 2018 putting the project ahead of schedule for the Spring 2018 baseball games. He said the updates were designed to resemble the existing floor and fans might not even notice a difference. Apparently the MMA resin flooring at Ed Smith Stadium had to done in sections to align with the expansion joints in the concrete.
UPDATE: In the current lawsuit filed by Sarasota County v Gilbane Building, defective flooring. Case Number: 2016 CA 006035 NC, Sarasota County Court Sarasota Fl. As of May 2018 a report from Defendant Gilbane Building indicates the MMA RESIN flooring purchased for $1,079,300 and installed by subcontractor PremUS of Orlando Inc, chosen by Sarasota County, is failing again. The May 2018 report, see above, indicates Sarasota County has made multiple egregious mistakes with the MMA resin flooring over the last 5 years! See report of May 8th, 2018, the 'new' MMA resin flooring that Sarasota County had installed at Ed Smith Stadium at the end of December 2017 and into early January 2018 has already begun to fail. Stadium concourse MMA resin floor replacement cost $1,079,300 in January 2018 and was paid by Sarasota County, now what, is Sarasota County going to shell out another $1.1 Million for more repairs before the 2019 season? see https://secure.sarasotaclerk.com/ViewPDF.aspx
On a side note: The Baltimore Orioles Baseball team have reached a new record low. Baltimore suffered its 108th loss of the season Tuesday, 9/18/2018, a 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays that left them 43-108, 60 games out of first place and breaking the 1988 team's mark for most losses in a single season in the team's 65-year history. The 2018 team went on to a 47 win-115 loss finish for the season. The Baltimore Orioles had the most losses, 115, of all teams in Major League Baseball for 2018. “It’s as difficult as it was yesterday,” manager Buck Showalter said of the team matching the 1988 team’s loss total.
Defective MMA Flooring at Orioles Spring Training Ed Smith Stadium Caused Fan to Injure Knee Sarasota County Balks at Paying Medical Bills, and Sarasota County was well aware of the defects for years!
Baltimore Orioles baseball 2019 spring training Sarasota Fl schedule, first game Saturday Feb 23rd, 2019.