Maryland officials approve a lease extension for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland officials approved a lease extension for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Monday, formalizing a long-term agreement between the team and the state and capping months of negotiations that were challenged by how to proceed with future development plans near the ballpark.

The state’s Board of Public Works, chaired by Gov. Wes Moore, voted 3-0 for the lease extension, after it was approved by the Maryland Stadium Authority earlier in the day.

“This is a great day, and I am thrilled to tell you why, but first I want to say something that I have been waiting to say for a long time: Baltimore, the deal is done,” Moore said at a news conference

The deal extends the lease for 30 years, with an option to end it after 15 if the team does not receive approval from state officials for development plans next to the stadium.

The Orioles’ lease at Camden Yards, which is owned by the state of Maryland, was set to expire at the end of the year. In September, the team announced a 30-year deal to stay in the ballpark, and the governor’s office released details of a memorandum of understanding involving the team, the stadium authority and the governor.

Some Maryland officials, including state Senate President Bill Ferguson, expressed concerns this month over the development rights agreement that was part of the deal. Ferguson, whose district includes the ballpark, supported the new plan agreed to since then, now that future development has greater oversight by state panels.

“Today, we stand here together, a group of individual leaders working as one to move forward not just the city of Baltimore, but the entire state of Maryland, to create a championship for this state,” Ferguson said.

Comptroller Brooke Lierman, who is one of the three members of the Board of Public Works, said it took months to finalize the deal in terms that keep the Orioles in Baltimore while providing the best value to taxpayers. She said it was a challenging process, but she’s pleased with the collaborative effort.

“I think the lease agreement we’re approving today is a culmination of that collaboration, and I’m confident that it’s a good deal for Marylanders,” Lierman said.

Orioles owner John Angelos expressed support for the agreement in a statement after the board’s vote.

“Our management group took the Orioles to the top of the league this season, and now, in partnership with Governor Wes Moore and his Administration, they made this deal happen,” Angelos said. “Most importantly, I’m happy we can deliver on our promise to fans of keeping the Orioles here for 30 more years, marking the 100th season of the team in Baltimore.”

Last year, the state increased bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for renovations at each stadium. The lease extension enables access to the funds for Camden Yards. The Ravens already have announced specific renovation plans for their venue.

By The Associated Press


Associated Press Writer Brian Witte contributed to this report from Annapolis, Maryland.