Maryland Gov. Wes Moore’s office released a few details Friday about the agreement with the Baltimore Orioles keeping the team in the city for at least 30 more years.
The Orioles made a surprise announcement about the deal on the scoreboard at Camden Yards during Thursday night’s game against Boston, not long before the team won and clinched the AL East title. A day later, Moore’s office said the governor, the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority have finalized a memorandum of understanding “that will keep the Orioles in Baltimore for at least 30 years, modernize facility operations at the best price for Maryland taxpayers, and boost private sector development to revitalize downtown Baltimore.”
“I could not be more thrilled to spend decades watching the Orioles win titles in Baltimore,” Moore said. “This deal is not only a good use of state resources, but will also drive economic growth in downtown and across the city.”
The team’s lease at Camden Yards was set to expire at the end of the year.
“We had three goals in 2019 when we organized the Orioles management team,” Orioles Chair John Angelos said. “We set out to remake the club to be a consistently competitive winner on the field, and to create a strong business and fiscal foundation to be able to do so at the highest level to sustain that competitiveness – and to completely reinvent and extend the Orioles’ partnership with the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland for the next three decades to ensure that the O’s would be in Baltimore up to and through our 100th anniversary. We have been very fortunate that we have achieved all of these goals.”
The Orioles began playing in Baltimore in 1954.
The agreement includes an option for two five-year extensions and a 99-year development rights agreement for areas surrounding the ballpark, including the famous warehouse and Camden Station. The Orioles will pay $94 million in rent over that 99-year term.
“This will make Camden Yards best-in-class while driving new economic growth through some of the untapped potential surrounding the stadium,” Stadium Authority Chair Craig Thompson said. “As we have seen in downtowns across the country, this is vital to diversifying the city’s economy and creating a center of gravity that attracts private sector investment.”
The deal also transfers operations and maintenance responsibilities for the ballpark from the Stadium Authority to the Orioles. The governor’s office said the Stadium Authority is currently responsible for funding operations and maintenance work at Camden Yards, spending an average of $6.5 million a year above and beyond rent income.
“By shifting operations and maintenance responsibility to the Orioles, the Maryland Stadium Authority will save money and will contribute a portion of the savings, $3.3 million per year, for the duration of the stadium agreement toward a safety and repair fund to keep the stadium in top-notch condition,” the statement said. “Funds will be dedicated to updating and maintaining critical stadium equipment such as elevators, chillers, and escalators.”