Oriole Park improvements part of lease extension talks

The Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball team has opened discussions with the Maryland Stadium Authority over a new lease deal that would extend the franchise’s stay at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The Orioles have an agreement in place to play at the stadium (left of picture) until next year, although the Baltimore Sun newspaper notes that the team can extend this by a further five years.

The stadium, which opened in 1992, has a capacity of 45,000 and the Sun notes that discussions between the Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority, which operates the venue, will include the potential to open up the facility to non-baseball events.

The report added that although current team owner Peter Angelos has previously been against staging non-baseball events at the stadium, his sons, John and Louis, who are taking on an increasingly active role in the running of the team, are more open to the idea. The stadium hosted a Billy Joel concert last year.

The Orioles and the Stadium Authority are also set to discuss creating new spaces at Oriole Park to enhance the fan experience, with a new bar or restaurant among the potential additions.

Greg Bader, the Orioles’ senior vice-president of administration and experience, has previously discussed the need to open more spaces to allow fans to gather at the stadium. A number of teams across the league have introduced similar spaces in recent years as they look to tap into new revenue streams.

Both the Orioles and the stadium authority are said to be keen on negotiating a new lease before the expiration of the current deal.

Major League Baseball is yet to start its 2020 season due to COVID-19 and it is unclear when the sport will resume.

Image: Maryland Stadium Authority