The Orioles and the state of Maryland have approved a new lease agreement, as reported by multiple outlets and announced by the O’s. “The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a partnership with the State of Maryland, Governor Wes Moore, and the Maryland Stadium Authority that will keep the Orioles at Camden Yards for thirty years,” the statement begins. It goes on to feature comments from John Angelos, chair and managing partner of the club, as well as Maryland Governor Wes Moore and others. Danielle Allentuck of the Baltimore Banner relayed the full press release for those interested.
Though the club announced they are staying at Camden for 30 years, they are currently only committed for 15, with Pamela Wood of the Baltimore Banner and Rich Dubroff of Baltimore Baseball relaying some of the details. If the club and the state can agree to a development plan for the surrounding area in the next four years, then the lease can be expanded from 15 to 30 years.
The new deal comes just in the nick of time, as the previous lease was set to expire at the end of the year. Back in February, the O’s had a chance to extend the lease for another five years but decided not to do so. The hope was that they could work out a longer deal that would allow them to take advantage of a new Maryland law and borrow $600MM for stadium upgrades. In August, it was reported that Angelos was trying to leverage the stadium negotiations into acquiring public land. He reportedly envisioned developing a mixed-use area with commercial and retail spaces, emulating to The Battery and Truist Park where the Braves play in Georgia.
In September, Angelos and Gov. Moore announced a new 30-year lease between the club and the state, though this was actually misleading. Reporting from the next day revealed that they had merely signed a memorandum of understanding, which was legally non-binding. The talks seemed to hit a speed bump when it was reported that private equity mogel David Rubenstein was in talks to acquire the club, causing State senator Bill Ferguson to express some concern with the agreement. This new deal will keep the club in Baltimore while kicking those development negotiations down the road for another four years. The new agreement was reported on Friday and approved today by the Maryland Stadium Authority and then by the Board of Public Works.
The Orioles have until December 31 of 2027 to win approval for a ground lease and development plan for an area that is believed to include the B&O Warehouse, the vacant Camden Station building and an adjacent parking area between the Warehouse and train tracks. If they don’t get those approved, they can continue with the 30-year agreement or switch to a 15-year pact. The 30-year pact also has four extensions of five years available, meaning the club could potentially stay for 50 years as part of this deal. If the ground lease and development plan are approved, it’s possible to change the terms of the 30-year agreement. The O’s and the stadium authority can now start accessing the $600MM in taxpayer-financed bonds that state lawmakers have authorized for major upgrades to the stadium.
Many details of the full agreement have not been publicly revealed and more will surely come out over time.