BALTIMORE -- After being hesitant to do so for years, the Orioles are opening Camden Yards to the music world this summer in a big way.The club announced on Thursday that it has booked six-time Grammy winner Billy Joel for what will be the first full concert in the history
BALTIMORE -- After being hesitant to do so for years, the Orioles are opening Camden Yards to the music world this summer in a big way.
The club announced on Thursday that it has booked six-time Grammy winner Billy Joel for what will be the first full concert in the history of Oriole Park. The legendary singer-songwriter will perform on Friday, July 26, in a flagship event for the O's new Orioles Entertainment division, in partnership with Live Nation.
Tickets go on sale Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. ET. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will donate a portion of the proceeds from the concert to support music and arts education programs for kids in Maryland and across the Orioles' regional territory.
"As an entertainment company bringing world-class sports, music and other diverse events to the live venues we manage and to our multimedia television, digital and radio platforms, there is no greater opportunity than to bring a true music legend in Billy Joel to the ballpark and into our community," said Orioles exeuctive vice president John Angelos. "Billy Joel and Oriole Park at Camden Yards are leaders across the entertainment world in selling tickets, driving tourism and creating one-of-a-kind memories, and the Orioles are thrilled to make Camden Yards home to an iconic artist who generations of Americans have grown up with and who is still setting records today."
While the Orioles aren't strangers to hosting smaller postgame shows -- for which they mostly targeted emerging artists -- Joel will be their first headliner. The 69-year-old has re-emerged as one of the country's premier touring acts over the latter half of this decade, buoyed by his ultra-popular residency at New York's Madison Square Garden. He's also become a mainstay on the Major League circuit. This summer, Joel is also slated to perform at Chase Field in Arizona, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Miller Park in Milwaukee, Coors Field in Denver and London's Wembley Stadium.
That the Orioles have joined that group speaks to the increased hand Angelos has in the franchise's scope of operations. His father, Peter, the Orioles' 89-year-old chairman and chief executive officer, had been averse to using Camden Yards for non-baseball events in the past.
"It took some time, but we're here now," John Angelos said. "In this case, a first impression -- you want to get the first one going, you want a great first act with a great partner. ... Billy Joel is the first, and hopefully, he's the first of many."
In addition to Joel, country singer Cole Swindell is set to perform at the club's Spring Training complex on March 2. The Orioles will host their fourth annual Nashville music showcase this spring in Sarasota, as well.
The organization will attempt to sell 37,000 tickets for Joel's show, according to Live Nation Baltimore chief operating officer Wilson Howard. Oriole Park's official capacity is 45,971. The club will be in the middle of a road trip on the West Coast when Joel comes to town.
Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.