Want to have lunch with an Orioles legend? Dance with the Oriole Bird atop the dugout? Take on-field batting practice prior to a game at Camden Yards?Those experiences are now easier to come by than ever before, as part of the Orioles' revamped Birdland Membership packages for the 2019 season.
Want to have lunch with an Orioles legend? Dance with the Oriole Bird atop the dugout? Take on-field batting practice prior to a game at Camden Yards?
Those experiences are now easier to come by than ever before, as part of the Orioles' revamped Birdland Membership packages for the 2019 season. The Orioles reimagined this year's programs with an added focus on offering a comprehensive fan experience that differs significantly from previous season-ticket plans but comes at no increased price.
"Our goal was to make the membership more of a lifestyle than a product," Orioles vice president of communications and marketing Greg Bader said. "To try to create as many opportunities for people to personalize their experience, create memories and establish a relationship between the club and the fan like never before."
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That was the impetus, Bader said, in shifting from a ticket-based plan to a membership-based one. While tickets were the driving force behind the club's previous Orange Carpet programs, Birdland Memberships are designed to appeal to fans looking to attend a range of games, and they provide the opportunity for fans to personalize their experience once at Oriole Park. That's where perks like the dugout dancing, the on-field batting practice and the lunch with legends come in.
Those are just three of a smorgasbord of options available through the new Birdland Rewards program, which allows members to earn points on all purchases. They can then redeem those points to cash in on a range of exclusive experiences that Bader called "all things a die-hard Orioles fan would want." Rewards include traveling with the team for its August series to Washington, special pregame on-field access, the chance to deliver the game ball to the pitcher's mound and a meet and greet with executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias.
"These are things people would ask us about all the time," Bader said. "'How do we get to do that?' The best way now is to become a Birdland Member."
Other benefits include discounts of up to 20 percent on concessions and merchandise, early ballpark entry and special presale opportunities. As in previous years, the Orioles will provide six plan options for members to customize game dates, along with three membership levels. Diamond Level guarantees special hospitality opportunities and same seats for all 81 home games. The 29-game Black Level package and 13-game Orange Level arrangement are also available, the latter of which includes the popular Sunday-only plan.
Each bundle includes free MLB At Bat/MLB.TV subscriptions, ballpark tours, complimentary Spring Training tickets and access to MLB's most flexible ticket exchange policy, among other perks. For more information, go to orioles.com/memberships.
Spring schedule update
Spring Training is now even closer than you think. The Orioles revealed Wednesday that they are pushing their spring report dates up by one day. Pitchers and catchers will now officially report in Sarasota, Fla., on Feb. 12, with their first workout set for Feb. 13. All players are required to be in camp by Feb. 17. The club's first full-squad workout will be held a day later, Feb. 18.
The original schedule, announced in August, had pitchers and catchers reporting on Feb. 13.
Tickets for 2019 Grapefruit League season will go on sale Saturday, Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. ET. They can be purchased online at orioles.com/spring. The Orioles will offer a special 36-hour online presale from Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. to Thursday, Jan. 24 at 10 p.m. to fans subscribing to the free digital Sarasota 365 Newsletter or Warehouse Wire.
The Orioles open Grapefruit League play with a split-squad game against the Twins at Ed Smith Stadium on Feb. 23.
Come on down
In another bit of preseason housekeeping, the Orioles are looking for personable, enthusiastic candidates interested in serving as ballboys and ballgirls for the 2019 season. All fans 18 years or older are invited to attend open tryouts for the positions at Oriole Park on March 9.
Candidates are being asked to submit a cover letter and resume to email@example.com, or bring their materials to the tryout. They are also encouraged to dress casually, bring their own glove and use the Home Plate Plaza entrance to Oriole Park on the southwest corner of the ballpark. Complimentary parking will be available in Lot A.
Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.