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Baltimore passes on Oriole Park lease extension; will address this summer

Oriole Park at Camden Yards 2019

The Baltimore Orioles are declining to extend their Oriole Park lease for another five years and will instead work on a long-term lease with the Maryland Stadium Authority.

The Orioles and the MSA already extended the lease for two years in 2021; that extension is due to expire on Dec. 31. The pair have been discussing ballpark improvements in the context of a new long agreements, with the state already approving money for Oriole Park renovations. Both sides appear to be confident about agreeing on a long-term lease, as the Orioles decline an option to extend the lease for five years.

Ideally, reports the Baltimore Sun, a new lease could be finalized by the All-Star Game. But even if it is not, there’s nothing to prevent the Orioles and the MSA from negotiating a new short-term lease. Yes, we know baseball Twitter will have the Orioles packing their bags and heading to Nashville when they hear the news about the Orioles declining a five-year lease extension. But this is as of now less of a big deal and more just part of a process story about negotiations cover lease payments and Oriole Park upgrades.

UPDATE: The Orioles and Maryland Governor Wes Moore issued the following statement after our original story was posted:

Today, Governor Wes Moore and the Baltimore Orioles announced their 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. Governor Moore and the Orioles look forward to continuing the conversation about the next evolution of this critical partnership for Maryland and the City of Baltimore.

Since 1992, Oriole Park has hosted more than 2,500 events, generating nearly $75 million in ticket sales and more than $10 billion in economic impact for the benefit of both the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland. Under legislation passed by the General Assembly last year, a new lease agreement will unlock $600 million in funding for upgrades and improvements to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The entire Orioles organization will continue to dedicate the necessary time and resources to ensure a shared vision for a reimagined Camden Yards site and revitalized surrounding downtown Baltimore area.

“When Camden Yards opened thirty years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” said GOVERNOR WES MOORE. “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.”

“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,” said JOHN ANGELOS, Orioles Chairman & CEO. “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.”

The Orioles, the Moore administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority look forward to reimagining Camden Yards to deliver a live, work, play theme that will bring residents, businesses, and tourists to downtown Baltimore year-round.

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