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Fort Lauderdale Stadium


Spring Training home of the Orioles from 1996-2009

Ballpark address:
1301 NW 55th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL   33309

Opened: 1962
Capacity: 8,340

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Fort Lauderdale Stadium

Location
Fort Lauderdale Stadium is surrounded by an industrial park, football stadium and airport. It sites on 25.5 acres of land controlled by the FAA and is so close to the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport that noise from Gulfstream jets are a more recognizable sound than the crack of the bat.

Directions

  • From I-95: Take exit 32 (Commercial Boulevard/SR 870) and go west for 0.4 miles. Turn right onto NW 12th Avenue (also known as Oriole Boulevard) and the baseball stadium will be a short distance ahead on your left, just past a football stadium.
  • From the Florida Turnpike: Take the Commercial Boulevard exit (# 62) and travel east for about 3.5 miles. Turn left onto NW 12th Avenue and the stadium will be less than a half mile away on the left.

    Parking
    The small paved lot behind home plate is reserved for season pass holders. Another paved lot parallel to the right field line fills up with early arrivals, after which cars are routed to the plethora of gravel spaces found within the complex at Lockhart Stadium, the name of the neighboring football/soccer stadium.
     Cost: $5


    Stadium Information
    Fort Lauderdale Stadium is a weathered relic of spring trainings past. A hand-operated marquee sign that lists upcoming games is the highlight of a non-descript exterior, livened up only by palm trees. There's nothing fancy about the interior, which is blighted by rusted or rotted seats in the grandstand and an overabundance of bleachers, which are disconnected from the stadium and require separate entrances. Despite having many shortcomings by modern day standards, Fort Lauderdale Stadium is now the oldest continuously used spring training ballpark in Florida, although its days are likely numbered. The Orioles had hoped to build a new $36 million ballpark where Lockhart Stadium now stands, but that deal has been held up by the FAA, which owns the land. A more likely scenario is that the team will move in the near future and the stadium will eventually be torn down to allow for expansion of the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.

    Fast Facts

  • The stadium has three separate entrances, each with their own ticket booths. Fan must enter through the appropriate gate, which depends on where they sit. The three options are the main grandstand, left field bleachers or right field bleachers.
  • The main concourse is behind and below the stadium's grandstand, which is accessed by ramps.
  • The bullpens are located in foul territory - the Orioles near first base, the visitors near third base.
  • The stadium's only scoreboard is in left-center field.
  • Bathrooms are in such short supply in the grandstand that port-o-potties are found on the concourse.
  • Two mini souvenir stands bookend the backside of the entrance gates behind home plate.

    Practice Fields

  • Two practice fields are behind left field, sandwiched between the stadium and airport.
  • The Orioles' Minor Leaguers do not train in Fort Lauderdale. Instead, they train at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota, some 200+ miles away.
  • To get to Twin Lakes Park, take I-75 to exit 205 (Clark Road/SR 72) and go east for a little less than a mile. Turn right into the park, which is located at 6700 Clark Road. The Orioles' complex is on the park's west side.
  • In addition to the Buck O'Neil Baseball Complex used by the Orioles, Twin Lakes Park also has youth baseball, football and soccer fields.

    Types of Seating
    Fort Lauderdale Stadium seating diagram All seats in the grandstand have chair backs and armrests. There are two large sections of bleachers down each outfield line and two more behind the right field wall.

  • Stadium seats: Sold as box seats (sections 1-20) or reserved grandstand (sections 1-16).
  • Bleachers: Sold as general admission.
  • Berm: none

    Notes about the seating

  • The Orioles dugout is on the first base side. To make sure you're on the home side of the stadium, buy your tickets in any odd-numbered section.
  • An aisle divides the stadium's grandstand into two sections. Box seats are below the aisle, reserved grandstand above it.
  • Each row of box seats has plenty of leg room, the most of any spring training stadium by far.
  • Box seat sections have a quirky design. Sections are grouped in pairs and split in half with no divider between them. So it's possible for the same row to have two seats with the same number (see photo).
  • Seats do not have cup holders.
  • All bleachers have seat backs.
  • Fans in the bleachers can't enter the main grandstand and vice versa.
  • Handicap accessible seating is found in platforms on the aisle above box sections 1-4.
  • The protective screen behind home plate extends from box sections 1-4 and attaches to the press box. The thick netting flares outward so that it's above reserved grandstand sections 1-6.
  • There aren't any good standing room areas in the grandstand but plenty are between the bleachers and chain link fence in general admission sections down the outfield lines.

    Sections and rows

  • Rows for box seats range from A to I. Sections range from 1-20.
  • There are two extra rows of seats closer to field level in box sections 1-12. Row AAA is the first row, row AA is the second.
  • Rows for reserved grandstand seats range from A to L, although row I is skipped. Sections range from 1-16.
  • All bleacher sections are general admission. Bleachers down the first and third base lines have 15 rows. The bleachers in right field have 10 rows.

    Seats to avoid
    The modern plastic box seats are very comfortable, but the old-time wooden reserved grandstand seats aren't. Furthermore, the view from the first three rows (A-C) of seats in the reserved grandstand are obstructed by foot traffic on the aisle. Bleachers are never known for their comfort and Fort Lauderdale Stadium has plenty of them. You can't move from the bleachers into the grandstand so if you buy a general admission bleacher ticket just remember that you'll be stuck there for the whole game.

    Seats under cover and in the shade
    The entire reserved grandstand is covered by a roof, making this a great stadium for those who prefer to sit in the shade. In the box seats, shade is cast upon rows G & up in all odd-numbered sections (first base side).

    VIP seating
    Not one of this stadium's strengths. Many of the best box seats in the house (rows AA and AAA in sections 1-8 at field level between the dugouts) are behind a black chain link fence that isn't easy to see through. There is a single sky box on the first base end of the press box, but there's a reason luxury suites have replaced sky boxes in more recent stadiums. Luxury boxes are, well, luxurious. Sky boxes are just plain high up.


    Game Day
    Gates open about 2 hours before game time -- at 11:00 AM for a 1:05 PM start. Fans in the grandstand have little reason to show up early as they have no access to the bleachers during batting practice, thereby eliminating any chance of getting a ball or autograph.

    Food, drink and bag policy

  • Food and plastic drink bottles are allowed to be brought inside the stadium.
  • Purses/handbags are allowed up to a maximum size of 12" x 12" x 8".
  • These items are on the official list of ballpark restrictions: back packs, duffel bags, briefcases, large handbags, camcorders, laptop computers, bats, umbrellas, cans, glass bottles, jugs, coolers, thermoses

    Getting autographs
    Fans in the grandstand are out of luck, as players that sign prior to games do so at the near ends of the left (visitors) or right field (Orioles) general admission bleachers. Fans in those cheap seats can stand behind the bullpens during the game, where they can periodically get an autograph.

    Unique ballpark fare
    Like bathrooms, concession stands are scarce and concentrated on the small concourse just inside of the main entrance, which is known as the "Food Court Area." The only option out of the ordinary in 2009 were the arepas, a Latin America specialty made of sweet corn bread and filled with mozzarella. Fans stranded in the bleachers have their own concessions, but the arepas and any other specialty items are not available there. Fort Lauderdale Stadium is the only spring training venue that does not serve draft beer. Instead, a limited selection of bottled beer is sold by vendors in the grandstand and at some stands in the concourse, where Coca-Cola is served at all stands.


    2009 Orioles Spring Training Schedule


    (only home games at Fort Lauderdale Stadium are listed)
    February Day Time Visiting Team
    25 Wednesday 1:05 Mets
    26 Thursday 1:05 Cardinals
    28 Saturday 1:05 Marlins
    March Day Time Visiting Team
    2 Monday 1:05 Red Sox
    4 Wednesday 1:05 Dominican Republic (WBC)
    5 Thursday 1:05 Marlins
    6 Friday 1:05 Nationals
    8 Sunday 1:05 Twins
    11 Wednesday 1:05 Twins
    13 Friday 1:05 Cardinals
    14 Saturday 1:05 Red Sox
    18 Wednesday 1:05 Cardinals
    20 Friday 1:05 Mets
    21 Saturday 1:05 Rays
    24 Tuesday 1:05 Nationals
    26 Thursday 1:05 Marlins
    29 Sunday 1:05 Mets
    31 Tuesday 1:05 Cardinals
    April Day Time Visiting Team
    1 Wednesday 1:05 Marlins

    * Single game tickets went on sale Saturday, January 10.
    See the full 2009 Orioles Spring Training schedule


    Ballpark Area Info
    Fort Lauderdale Stadium and neighboring Lockhart Stadium (home of Florida Atlantic University football) feel misplaced among the industrial parks and corporate airport that they are nestled between. As such, the stadium's identity is most often associated with its poor choice of location, which makes spring training feel like an afterthought. Adding to that feeling is the fact that Baltimore's minor leaguers have nowhere to train. Hence the reason why their minor league camp is in Sarasota, making the Orioles the only Major League team to not have all of their players in one location.

    Travelers' notes

  • The closest Interstate, I-95, is less than a mile away. The Florida Turnpike is about four miles to the west.
  • The stadium is five miles north of downtown Fort Lauderdale.
  • As out of the way as the location is, at least it's safe. And with the US Army Reserve Center across the street from the main entrance, fans have nothing to worry about.

    Nearby restaurants

    Restaurants close to Fort Lauderdale Stadium

    Distance Restaurant Street Address City/Zip Phone
    0.4 miles Jax House of Ribs 5401 Powerline Rd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-776-4994
    0.5 The Frog & Toad Pub 5782 Powerline Rd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-491-3697
    0.55 KFC 990 W Commercial Blvd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-492-8191
    0.55 Major League Heros 953 W Commercial Blvd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-491-7555
    0.6 McDonald's 950 W Commercial Blvd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-928-0910
    0.6 Spectrum Cafe 1900 W Commercial Blvd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-772-5545
    0.6 Miami Subs 891 W Commercial Blvd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-938-9400
    0.7 Twin Diner 4871 Powerline Rd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-491-4282
    0.75 Salad Creations 6251 Powerline Rd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-689-9998
    0.75 Subway 6251 Powerline Rd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-489-7786
    0.8 Bennigan's 665 W Cypress Creek Rd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-771-2800
    0.8 La Mia Focaccia 6303 Powerline Rd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-772-9499
    List your restaurant or bar
    Nearby hotels

    Hotels close to Fort Lauderdale Stadium

    Distance Hotel Street Address City/Zip Phone
    0.45 miles University Inn 1500 W Commercial Blvd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-776-4222
    0.65 La Quinta Inn 999 W Cypress Creek Rd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-491-7666
    0.7 El Palacio Hotel 4900 Powerline Rd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-776-4880
    0.7 Extended Stay Deluxe 6001 NW 6th Way Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-772-3155
    0.75 Red Roof Inn 4800 Powerline Rd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-776-6333
    0.9 Sheraton 555 NW 62nd St Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-772-5400
    List your hotel
    Nearby airports

    Airports close to Fort Lauderdale Stadium

    Distance Airport Airport Code
     8.6 miles Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International FLL
    28.1 Miami International MIA
    34.4 Palm Beach International PBI
    89.9 St Lucie County International FPR

    Fort Lauderdale Stadium in Florida
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