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John Angelos: Orioles will never leave Baltimore

Oriole Park at Camden Yards 2019

Despite allegations in an intrafamily legal spat arguing he is ready to consider moving the team to Nashville, Baltimore Orioles chairman and CEO John Angelos vows that the team will never leave the city and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The assertions regarding the team’s potential move to Nashville comes from Louis Angelos, who is suing his brother, John Angelos, over control of the holdings of 92-year-old Peter Angelos, currently owner of the Orioles. In the lawsuit, which includes mother Georgia Angelos as a defendant, Louis Angelos says John Angelos would consider a move of the team if he gains control of the holdings.

The rumors of a potential move are not new, but they are timely. State funding for Oriole Park upgrades was approved by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Larry Hogan, authorizing the Maryland Stadium Authority to borrow up to $1.2 billion if a new lease is signed and the Orioles commit to not moving. The MSA and the Orioles had been negotiating a new lease for many years now, and the approval of bonding for upgrades was widely seen as a key step in retaining the team. And there are many reasons why MLB is unlikely to support a move: Oriole Park is an MLB treasure, the team reportedly is profitable and benefits greatly from its MASN cable deal, and a move would remove Nashville as an expansion target and potentially take away the historical significance of becoming the first Black-owned team in MLB. (Not the first minority-owned team; that would be the Los Angeles Angels, owned by Arte Moreno, the son of Mexican immigrants.) If actions speak louder than words, it’s telling that Angelos has taken no steps toward moving the team.

In a press release issued this morning, Angelos denied any plans for moving the team.Here’s the full statement from John Angelos:

As I have said before, as long as Fort McHenry is standing watch over the Inner Harbor, the Orioles will remain in Baltimore.

My mother was born and raised in northeast Baltimore, attended city public schools at Eastern High School, and has worked with my father their entire lives to help the city, including by restoring the club to local ownership and preventing its relocation. For them, as for me, the Orioles will forever play at Oriole Park, and at no time ever have we contemplated anything different.

Since I was appointed Chairman and CEO according to my parents’ expressed wishes, and voted as the control person for the team by the 30 Major League Clubs, I have taken significant steps to ensure that our beloved franchise’s future remains in Charm City. Just two months ago we celebrated the Maryland General Assembly passing a bill promising to put $1.2 billion into reinvesting and reimagining the Camden Yards Sports Complex, which includes Oriole Park, ensuring the team will continue to play right here in downtown Baltimore for generations to come. Maryland is committed to keeping our team in this great state, and I am equally committed to keeping the Orioles at the heart of our state. As stewards of “The Ballpark That Forever Changed Baseball,” we will continue to strengthen our community, generate another $10 billion in economic impact for the City of Baltimore and State of Maryland, and welcome another 70 million people to downtown Baltimore over the next 30 years and beyond. There is nothing uncertain about the future of the Baltimore Orioles.

I want to assure our Orioles players and coaches, our dedicated front office Senior Leadership Team and staff, and our devoted fans, trusted partners, elected, civic, and non-profit leaders, and our entire community, that the Orioles will never leave. From 33rd Street to Camden Yards, the Birds of Baltimore, the iconic team of Brooks, Earl, Jim, Frank, Cal, and Eddie, will forever remain in the only city that our family and our partnership group has called, or will ever call, home – the finest city and birthplace of our national anthem of which we are enduringly proud and to which we are forever committed.

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