Downtown biz feeling O's fever

BALTIMORE - It's almost fitting that this is the 20 th year of Camden Yards. A jewel in Baltimore, it is credited for the downtown area's economic turnaround.

Not only does the stadium and the area around it still look good…

"Yeah… That's a good sound. That's a great sound. I hope it's a siren – homerun!"

It all sounds good to Terry Scordo. Even outside Camden Yards, with every Oriole run is the possibility for more change in his pocket.

Scordo works at Wild Bill's t-shirt stand on Eutaw Street just outside the yard. He's been there for 10 years, but this year is different – crowds are buying his merchandise at an impressive clip.

"They want the newest shirt of the day, the newest shirt of the week," Scordo said. "Everybody down here is reaping the benefits of it."

City officials viewed the opening of the ballpark in 1992 as a major phase of redevelopment in downtown Baltimore. It helped bring tourism back and was an economic engine for the entire region. Now, there have been 15 losing seasons since then, but on this year, the 20 th anniversary of Camden Yards, It's roaring once again, and it is a sound echoing throughout downtown.

"We want to play," said peanut vendor Paul McCabe. "We want to play. We want to play along just as everybody else and play a small part in their success."

The O's success is also John Tiffey's success. He is the director of marketing and sales at Hotel Monaco. While the hotel is used to the bump in occupancy when the Red Sox and Yankees come to town, this season there has been a palpable increase throughout the whole summer.

"On some other dates, when those teams are not in town, we've definitely seen an uptick in reservations," Tiffey said. "That's new. That is new for us."

Prior to this season, for 15 years, the hotel has only seen an uptick when the Yankees or Red Sox come to town. The success of the Orioles has caused the hotel to modify its business model.

As the Orioles fans cheer on the playoff push, so do downtown businesses.

"I think it will be really great for us," McCabe said. "It will be a good situation, a lot of money for everybody. It'll be a good day."

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