Orioles finalise new 30-year Camden Yards lease deal

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The Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball team has finalised a partnership with the State of Maryland, Governor Wes Moore and the Maryland Stadium Authority to continue playing at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for 30 more years.

The long-term deal has been signed after a Memorandum of Understanding was reached between the parties back in September. The Orioles said the deal represents the team’s commitment to the city and a desire to reinvigorate the area in and around the stadium.

It is hoped the new lease agreement will also spur economic growth, drive community impact, and foster the ability to build a competitive team. The Orioles have played at Camden Yards since 1992 and the team’s previous lease deal had been due to expire on December 31.

The new deal has been signed after 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 M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Last week, the Ravens announced plans for a $430m (£339m/€393m) redevelopment of M&T Bank Stadium.

The Orioles’ new lease deal includes an option to pursue development rights at the Camden Yards complex. The team will work with the stadium authority in the coming years to advance a ground lease and development plan for areas around the ballpark.

If a ground lease is signed and receives state approval within four years, the 30-year lease extension may be converted to a new facility use agreement with approval by MLB and the Board of Public Works. If it is not approved within four years, the Orioles will have the option to maintain the 30-year lease on existing terms; change the length to 15 years total on existing terms, with four options to extend for five years each; or maintain the 30-year lease and convert to the new lease terms outlined in the new facility use agreement.

Greg Bader, chief operating officer of the Orioles, said: “When we began conversations with the state on a bigger vision for the ballpark and the greater plan for Baltimore, we had the shared goal of reaching an end result that would benefit both the city and state. I’m proud to say we accomplished that mission.

“Thank you to the team in Governor Wes Moore’s office and the Maryland Stadium Authority for working with us to reimagine this partnership for the next generation. After a lengthy and complex process that has ultimately achieved the parties’ shared goals, we look forward to enhancements to Camden Yards that the Baltimore community can enjoy for decades to come.”

Governor Moore added: “From the very beginning I was clear that we would only sign an agreement that puts Maryland taxpayers at the top of mind, keeps the Orioles in Baltimore long-term, and benefits the entire City of Baltimore, and that is exactly what we have done here by extending the Orioles stadium lease at Camden Yards for another 30 years.

“The Orioles are a valued part of the Baltimore community, and we are grateful to continue this partnership with a deal that follows the broad shared goals of the Memorandum of Understanding from earlier this year. This agreement will not only benefit the world-class fan experience at Camden Yards, but the entire city as well, and we are thrilled knowing that Maryland will continue to see playoff baseball in Baltimore for years to come.”