UPDATE: HERALD TRIBUNE December 5, 2018.....Ed Smith Stadium Sarasota, LECOM Park Bradenton and Charlotte Sports Park are among most popular ball parks for spring training according to ReviewTrackers. Will the new spring-training home of the Atlanta Braves be any better, any splashier, any more utilitarian than the hardball house in Sarasota? You know, Ed Smith isn’t a slouch by any means. Solid. Dependable. As far as we can determine, the guy hasn’t missed a day of work in more than 25 years. ReviewTrackers, a Chicago-based firm that compiles data for USA Today, looked at 36,000 online reviews for the 23 stadiums used for spring training and determined that Ed Smith was the most-liked venue. ("HOPEFULLY FOR THE SAFETY OF THE FANS THE SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CAN SOLVE THE DEFECTIVE FLOORING SITUATION AT ED SMITH STADIUM BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE IS SERIOUSLY INJURED").
On March 30th, 2017 at 2:08 pm, the injured baseball fan notified a passing Sarasota County Sheriff Deputy by the 2nd floor concourse steps that he had injured his knee and needed help. The Deputy radioed the Sarasota County Fire Dept EMS medics stationed at the First Aid room on the 1st floor, they came up on the elevator with a wheel chair and took the baseball fan down to the First Aid room, an ice pack was the only thing given to the fan. The 'ice pack' was a large baggie confiscated from the nearby concession stand with ice cubes from the drink machine. As this was the last game of the Spring Baseball 2017 season there were no medical supplies of any kind in the so-called 'First Aid Room'.
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'.
Defective MMA Flooring Sarasota's at Ed Smith Stadium, the Baltimore Orioles Spring Training HQ Caused Baseball Fan to trip and severely injure his Knee on 2nd floor staircase on March 30th 2017, Sarasota County balks at paying his Medical Bills. Sarasota County, which owns Ed Smith Stadium, rolled the dice for the March 2017 Spring Training Baseball games at Ed Smith Stadium for the Baltimore Orioles knowing full well that defective MMA resin flooring on the 1st floor concourse and the 2nd floor concourse had broken loose and seams had opened up everywhere creating trip points and unsafe conditions for the 8,500 fans who attended all the home games. Sarasota County had been aware of the ongoing and deteriorating MMS resin flooring condition since 2013, yep 2013. Did the Baltimore Orioles Baseball organization know about the unsafe conditions that their baseball fans were subjected to by Sarasota County? Are Major League Baseball facilities safe enough?
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.”
HERALD TRIBUNE WRITES: Sarasota County to use $16.5 Million of tourism money to fix Ed Smith baseball stadium despite business community outcry. 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.
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.
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?
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.
Saturday November 25th 2017 was the first time surveillance photos were obtained at Ed Smith Stadium since the baseball fan's accident on March 30th, 2017, last day of spring training baseball games at Ed Smith Stadium Sarasota Fl. The 1st floor concourse and the baseball field were open for play for youth teams today, November 25th, 2017, photos of multiple areas on the 1st floor concourse showed seams in the defective Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) floor coating opening up or plugged.
In multiple areas there were open holes in the MMA resin flooring and no repairs had been attempted as of November 25th, 2017 for the upcoming Spring 2018 baseball games. There were also multiple areas were old patch work had been done and the patch work was coming loose, one place was at the bottom of the staircase on the 1st floor concourse. No real repairs have been made to the flooring by November 25th, 2017 since end of Spring Training Games March 30th, 2017. In one major walkway area on the 1st floor concourse there is a seam opening up the full width of the walkway creating a trip hazard for fans.
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.
On a side note: The Baltimore Orioles Baseball team have reached a new record low with 115 losses for 2018. Baltimore suffered its 109th loss of the season in early October 2018 that left them 43-109, 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 Baltimore Orioles Baseball team had the worst win-loss record in all of MLB for the 2018 season. The 1988 team started 0-21 on its way to a 47 win-115 loss finish 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 in March 2017 Sarasota County Balks at Paying Medical Bills, and Sarasota County was well aware of the defects for many years! Baltimore Orioles baseball 2019 spring training Sarasota Fl schedule, first game Saturday Feb 23rd, 2019.