The next move is for Sarasota County to negotiate a design contract with the two firms.
The plan is to either tear down or renovate Ed Smith Stadium after Spring Training 2010. There's no plan yet as to exactly how things will proceed; the team has $31.2 million from county sources to work with. The 30-year lease signed by the Orioles to train in Sarasota doesn't specify whether a renovation or new ballpark is on the docket.
Also interviewed for the spring-training-facility gig: Populous (formerly HOK Sport) and the DLR Group. Both have solid credentials in spring-training facilities: Populous has designed several facilities, including the much-lauded renovation of Charlotte County Sports Center, while DLR Group's Stan Meradith is renowned for his design of Steinbrenner Field. Smith, of course, helped usher in the retro era with Populous on the design of Oriole Park at Camden Yards during her first stint with the O's; she later went to the Red Sox to oversee highly praised renovations at Fenway Park. David M. Schwartz Architects' best-known work is Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and the Wide World of Sports complex in Disney World, while Hoyt Architects is a Sarasota firm best known for extending a local style of architecture.