ANNAPOLIS -- The Orioles responded to anti-smoking pressure from the state legislature yesterday by banning tobacco advertising in Oriole Park at Camden Yards during the stadium's inaugural season. But the Orioles said fans still will be permitted to smoke in any seat in the house.
The team said it intends to train and encourage ushers to relocate fans to other seats if they're disturbed by the smoke of others. Ushers also will distribute cards to smokers reminding them that their smoke may be bothering those seated nearby. Additional reminders will be printed in game programs.
"In sum, our 1992 policy is one that permits smoking by our fans, but affirmatively discourages it in the seating bowl, in a ballpark without tobacco advertising," Orioles president Larry Lucchino said in a letter to Delegate Ronald A. Guns, D-Cecil, chairman of the House Environmental Matters Committee.
For the second consecutive year, Guns' committee is considering a pair of bills introduced by Delegate Martin G. Madden, R-Howard, that would ban tobacco advertising in the taxpayer-financed stadium and require separate smoking and no-smoking sections.
Madden said he was "half-satisfied" with the Orioles' reply, and predicted that "sooner or later you're going to be able to enjoy a smoke-free game at Camden Yards. I think the forces are there and it is inevitable. I just wish the Orioles would cooperate and do so voluntarily so we don't have to force it."