Orioles announce plans to redevelop Camden Yards while working to secure long-term lease

While declining an option to extend their stadium lease by five more years at tonight’s deadline, leading to further negotiations that must be resolved by Dec. 31, the Orioles have issued a joint statement with newly elected Governor Wes Moore announcing their mutual commitment to reimagining Camden Yards and delivering "a live, work, play theme that will bring residents, businesses, and tourists to downtown Baltimore year-round.”

Improvements can be made after a new lease is agreed upon with the Maryland Stadium Authority, which unlocks the Orioles’ half of the $1.2 billion in funding that the state set aside for upgrades to the complex.

The press release included mention of “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.”

“When Camden Yards opened thirty years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore said in a statement. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership. We look forward to writing the next chapter of major league baseball in Maryland as we continue to make magic for fans and meaningful investment for communities across our state.”

Orioles chairman and CEO John Angelos added in a statement: “I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the State of Maryland deserves.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA Board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Angelos has long maintained that the Orioles are staying in Baltimore, but the lack of a longer-term stadium commitment and the current family litigation just fuels more fan angst over a possible relocation.

Mayor Brandon Scott referenced the Colts moving to Indianapolis in 1984 during a Martin Luther King, Jr., Day press conference at Camden Yards announcing the Orioles’ $5 million donation to the non-profit CollegeBound Foundation, and he attempted to ease any concerns over the baseball team.

“There are many worries that I have. The Orioles are not one,” Scott said.

“I always say that there are sports teams that are in cities and sports teams that are of cities, and the Orioles are in the latter. They are a part of Baltimore, a deep part, especially for me. I want a World Series championship more than anything.”

Commissioner Rob Manfred also tried to defuse rumors of a relocation during the December Winter Meetings in San Diego, telling the media that “as long as I have this job, I think you can count on the fact that the Orioles are going to be in Baltimore.”

The Baltimore Sun reported earlier today via sources that the Orioles would like a deal in place by the All-Star break that runs at least 10 or 15 years.

The original lease at Camden Yards began in 1992 and lasted 30 years. The Orioles and MSA agreed to a two-year extension prior to its expiration in 2021.

Another extension covering only a year or two could be signed if current negotiations don't bring a timely resolution.

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