The Baltimore Orioles have doubled down on their long-term commitment to the city through the announcement of a lease deal extension that will see the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise continuing playing at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
The announcement was made yesterday (Thursday) as the Orioles claimed their first American League East title since 2014 with a 2-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox. The team’s current lease deal was due to expire on December 31, but the franchise, along with the State of Maryland, Governor Wes Moore and Maryland Stadium Authority have agreed to a contract extending this for at least the next 30 years.
Further details of the deal are expected to be announced today, with Baltimore Mayor, Brandon Scott, announcing in a statement: “The Baltimore Orioles are an institution and an irreplaceable member of the collective family that makes up Charm City.
“I am extremely pleased that under this agreement, they will continue to call Oriole Park at Camden Yards – the ballpark that forever changed baseball – home for another generation. I want to thank John Angelos and the entire Orioles organisation for continuing to be a team not only in Baltimore, but of Baltimore.
“I also want to thank Governor Moore, Maryland Stadium Authority chair Craig Thompson and the entire team at the state for their great work ensuring our Orioles remain in Baltimore. I look forward to working with them and all of our partners as we embark on the next steps to modernise Oriole Park and the surrounding area into the best version of itself.”
The Orioles and Governor Moore in February announced a joint commitment to develop and revitalise the Camden Yards complex, which houses the team’s ballpark as well as the home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium.
The Orioles and Governor Moore pledged to create a long-term, multi-decade, public-private partnership to transform the complex into a magnet for sports tourism that leverages Maryland taxpayers’ investment in the property.
The announcement was made on the same day that a deadline passed for the Orioles to exercise a five-year extension to a lease deal to play at Oriole Park. The Orioles have played at Oriole Park since the stadium opened in 1992. Under legislation passed by the General Assembly last year, a new lease agreement will unlock $600m (£489.5m/€565.5m) in funding for upgrades and improvements to the stadium.
The complex is poised for a major overhaul after the Orioles announced a $1.2bn commitment from Maryland authorities last April. This is set to be split between Oriole Park and M&T Bank Stadium.