Orioles to sponsor city New Year's Eve celebration

Baltimore's Inner Harbor will welcome 2013 with live music, a fireworks show and a giant digital clock counting down the seconds, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced today.

This year's celebration, with entertainment beginning at 9 p.m. leading up to the midnight fireworks, is being sponsored by the Orioles, hot off a 2012 playoff appearance and eager to keep that momentum going into the 2013 season.

"This celebratory event will be the perfect start to what we expect will be an exciting year ahead," team spokesman Greg Bader said in a news release.

The local top-40 band Outbreak will play from the Inner Harbor Amphitheater at Pratt and Light streets. A pair of barges in the harbor will provide the staging area for the fireworks show, produced by Pyrotecnico; one of the barges will sport a giant digital clock, with numbers eight-feet high, that will begin the countdown to 2013 at 11 p.m.

Given this year's sponsor, it should surprise no one that the musical accompaniment to the fireworks will include the Orioles' unofficial anthem, "Orioles Magic," and The Wanted's "Glad You Came," a song played repeatedly during the team's playoff drive.

Duplicating a security system that debuted at this year's July 4th celebration, the Inner Harbor area will be ringed with bike stands. Access to the waterfront area will be restricted to nine entry points.

The annual New Year's Eve celebration has an economic impact of some $6.9 million, according to a 2010 study by Forward Analytics, and draws between 50,000 and 100,000 spectators.