SARASOTA, Fla. – Maryland Governor Wes Moore tonight said he is very confident the Orioles will soon have a new lease to play well into the future at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He said things “are moving fast” to get that done.
The Governor and Orioles Chairman & CEO John Angelos visited The Battery Atlanta on Thursday, to explore the 365-day entertainment experience around Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves. The Battery Atlanta is a 2,000,000-square-foot mixed-use destination, which offers an unprecedented entertainment experience including shops, restaurants, and a 4,000-seat venue for all genres of live music.
Today the Governor met with team officials and O’s players and threw out the first pitch before tonight’s spring training game at Ed Smith Stadium with Minnesota.
The Orioles current lease expires Dec. 31. Angelos has expressed confidence that a new lease could be completed by the All-Star break.
“I’m very confident that we are moving fast on this," Governor Moore said. "It should not be lost on anybody that the first trip that I took outside of the state was down here. Was to spend time with the Orioles. To make sure they understand how big of a priority this is for me and how big a priority this is for the state. So we feel very confident that we have the same goal. The goal is to make sure there is Orioles baseball in Baltimore for generations to come. I feel very good about our prospects to get this deal done very quickly.”
Last month, Governor Moore and the Orioles announced a joint commitment to creating a long-term, multi-decade, public-private partnership that both develops and revitalizes the Camden Yards complex as a magnet for sports tourism and leverages Maryland taxpayers’ investment in the property. The visit to Atlanta was part of the continued collaboration with the Orioles, the State of Maryland, and the greater Baltimore area to redevelop Camden Yards.
“Really productive,” Moore said of the Atlanta trip. “We’re moving fast as an administration and because the state is ready to move fast, one thing I knew I wanted to do was come spend time and understand what are the best practices. Who is doing what around the country?
“When we say we don’t just have a commitment for making sure the Orioles will be in Baltimore for generations to come, it’s also about how can we create measurements of economic attention and energy and growth all around the stadium as well.
“There is an importance of having the stadium and having the team as an anchor. One thing you realize about the Orioles, they are not just important to Baltimore in terms of folklore, but they are also important in terms of the future.
“So having the ballpark as an anchor is really important. But the thing I took away is, that can’t be it. We’ve got to make sure there is economic energy that is taking place around the ballpark.”
Moore was asked if he saw things in Atlanta they hope to replicate in downtown Baltimore?
“You know, I think the features that I really liked was how walkable a lot of things were,” he said. “One of the things I’m really excited about in Baltimore, we also have a mass transit component to this, that they don’t have down at Truist Park. What they did is right for them. What we’re going to do in Baltimore and Maryland is going to be right for us."
Just how soon can some of this get done, the vision that Moore has for the area around the downtown ballparks?
“It can get done very quickly, because, I believe that anything you prioritize has a way of getting done and this is a priority for us,” said Moore.
“This is a time that I want for us as a city and I want for us as a state to think big. I want us to be creative. I want us to be thoughtful. I want us to think about how do we create a 21st century experience that both people who are living within the neighborhoods and community can benefit from. But also people who are finding it as a destination. This is going to be a core engine for what it means for this to be Maryland’s decade. I want us to thoughtful. I want us to be creative and dream big on this one."