Leases  ·  Retail

Orioles Due $600M in Bonds for Camden Yards Upgrades Following New Lease

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The Baltimore Orioles are staying in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The Maryland Stadium Authority unanimously voted to approve a 15-year lease extension between the state and the longtime Major League Baseball franchise, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced this week.

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Camden Yards, in which the Orioles have played since its opening in 1992, is owned by the state, and the team’s lease was set to expire at the end of the year. The new lease is for at least 15 years, but the Birds could remain at their home for as many as 30, contingent on a development deal.

John Angelos, chair and managing partner of the team, hasn’t been shy about his desire to develop a mixed-use neighborhood with office and retail spaces nearby. If the club and the state can agree to a development plan for the surrounding area in the next four years, the lease can be expanded to 30 years.

The land involved is expected to include the B&O Warehouse, the vacant Camden Station building and an adjacent parking area between the warehouse and train tracks, according to the Baltimore Banner.

The Board of Public Works also approved the lease.

By agreeing to a long-term lease, the team can now tap into as much as $600 million from bonds issued by the Maryland Stadium Authority for stadium upgrades.

“I took a short-term lease off the table on day one,” Moore said during a press conference announcing the agreement. “Under this deal, we will keep the Orioles in Baltimore for the long-term with a no-relocation clause under any scenario.”

Although plans are not finalized, Orioles ownership released an exhibit Tuesday showing it was looking to remove upper deck seats in various locations to create more social spaces and relocate and expand its Kids’ Zone play area. Ownership also noted it was interested in expanding the Flag Court area behind right field below the main scoreboard to create a centerfield bar and hospitality area.

The Ravens real estate deal is the second big sports one in Baltimore in 2023. Earlier this year, the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League committed to staying at M&T Bank Stadium until 2037 after the state approved $450 million in improvements to its stadium.

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.