2 Oriole Park exhibitions called


Bothered by sluggish ticket sales, the Orioles have scrubbed two of three preseason games scheduled for Camden Yards later this month.

The Orioles will keep their Sunday afternoon date with the Philadelphia Phillies on April 23, but have called off a game the day before against the Colorado Rockies. A night game against the Phillies originally scheduled at Oriole Park on April 24 has been moved to Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.

Orioles vice chairman Joe Foss said the club wasn't able to adequately promote the games, which hurriedly were added to the exhibition schedule when the players' strike ended two weeks ago. The club had sold roughly 10,000 tickets for each of the games, Foss said.

"There was just a short period of time in which to sell the exhibition games and do them well. Sales have not been strong," Foss said.

On Tuesday, the Orioles stopped selling tickets for the canceled games. About 30,000 tickets remain for the April 23 Phillies game.

Manager Phil Regan said the Orioles likely would fly to Kansas City after the game April 24, and work out there the afternoon of April 25. The O's open the season on April 26.

Foss said fans who have purchased seats for the canceled games can return them for a refund. They also may exchange the tickets for a future Orioles game.

To fill in the open date on their exhibition schedule, the Orioles probably will play the Chicago White Sox in Sarasota on April 22, although that change still needs American League approval.

Although exhibition tickets are selling slowly, the Orioles continue to do well with regular-season sales. For the 72-game home schedule, officials say they have sold 2.65 million of a total of 3.3 million tickets.

Foss said all weekend games in June and July are nearly sellouts. More tickets remain for games in May and weeknight games in June and July.

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