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Baltimore’s Camden Yards receives $1.2bn public funding commitment

Camden Yards Sports Complex is set for a major overhaul after the Baltimore Orioles franchise announced a $1.2bn commitment from the Maryland authorities.

In an open letter to the Major League Baseball (MLB) team’s fans, Orioles chairman John Angelos announced the state legislature had approved more than $1bn of public funding for “reinvestment in and reimagination of” the complex, which features the O’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the Baltimore Ravens National Football League (NFL) team’s M&T Bank Stadium.

The announcement comes as the venue celebrates its 30th anniversary at the start of the new MLB season. It is the second-largest public commitment to an MLB team, with only the New York Yankees receiving a higher figure when constructing the new Yankee Stadium in 2009.

“In a very short span of time, we can report that the franchise has a bright future, having secured the financial resources needed to reinvest in Oriole Park’s amenities,” Angelos said.

“These public funds are just a portion of the more than ten billion dollars in economic tourism impact generated by the Orioles during the past three decades at Camden Yards.”

While not outlining specific projects at the venue, Angelos said he wants it to become a must-play destination for every world-class tour and marquee event, citing recent concerts featuring Paul McCartney and Billy Joel.

Angelos added: “The Orioles are a leading employer of thousands of workers, have relocated our Minor League affiliates to Maryland communities in Aberdeen, Bowie, and Salisbury, and are leading in diversity and equality in key positions in our front office.”

Earlier this year, Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA), the entity which oversaw the complex’s development, said it was seeking state legislative approval to borrow up to $1.2bn to pay for renovation work at the two venues.

According to the Baltimore Sun in February, the bill backed by the MSA would raise the allowable bond debt for stadium projects from $235m to $1.2bn. Up to $600m in outstanding debt would be allowed for development work at each club’s stadium at any given time.

Image: Brendan Beale on Unsplash