With a large sinkhole on Howard Street and a nine-game homestand beginning Friday, the Orioles offered fans planning to go to Camden Yards suggestions on working their way around closures.
The sinkhole on Howard Street, the result of an underground water main break, has caused road closures on Pratt Street between Paca Street and Hopkins Place. Northbound Interstate 395, which becomes Howard Street, is closed north of Conway Streets; all drivers are required to turn right onto Conway.
A Light Rail platform at Howard and Pratt streets collapsed into the sinkhole, creating difficulties for fans who use the public transportation systems to get to games. However, the service is running normally from the south to Camden Yards, and although Light Rail service between North Avenue and Camden Yards is disrupted for those coming from the north, shuttle bus service will be available to accommodate fans between those points.
The Orioles declined to comment on the specific impact the sinkhole and its effect on traffic will potentially have on their attendance and revenue. Some of the Orioles’ upcoming promotions figure to be among their most popular, including the Orioles Hawaiian shirt on Saturday, the Brooks Robinson bobblehead on Tuesday and the Hot Dog Race T-shirts on Wednesday.
“We are hopeful that the issue will not negatively impact our fans’ decisions to come to the games this weekend,” said Greg Bader, Orioles vice president of communications and marketing, in a text message. “There are plenty of ways to enter and exit the ballpark that are unaffected by the road closure issues. We are closely working with all local agencies to ensure as smooth a process for fans entering and exiting the ballpark as possible.”
In an advisory, the Orioles said fans planning to come to games from the north and through the city can access Oriole Park two ways, either via Conway Street from the east or via Lee Street from the west.
Fans who enter downtown on I-395 North (Exit 53) can still reach Camden Yards parking lots and Lee Streets by taking the Russell Street exit on the right. Those who do not do so will have to turn right at Conway.
The Orioles open the second half with a nine-game homestand against the Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox. With the team holding the worst record in baseball at 27-62 in the first year of an analytics-based rebuild, the Orioles’ attendance is suffering, too, with the club ranking 28th of 30 teams in home attendance.