Orioles finalize 30-year deal to remain at Camden Yards

December 18th, 2023

BALTIMORE -- It’s official: The Orioles will continue to call Camden Yards home for a long time.

On Monday, the Orioles and the State of Maryland finalized a 30-year Camden Yards lease agreement, which was approved at special meetings held by the Maryland Stadium Authority and the state’s Board of Public Works. Those were the final steps to take after the Orioles and Governor Wes Moore signed a memorandum of understanding in late September.

“This is a great day, and I’m thrilled to tell you why,” Moore said at a press conference held in the warehouse at Camden Yards. “I want to say something that I have been waiting to say for a long time -- Baltimore, the deal is done.”

The lease had been set to expire on Dec. 31. After the new agreement was unanimously approved by the Board of Public Works -- composed of Moore, Treasurer Dereck Davis and Comptroller Brooke Lierman -- the deal was signed, locking the Orioles into the ballpark where they have played since the facility opened in 1992.

“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,” Moore said in a statement. “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.”

Although the lease has been extended for 30 years, there is an option to end it after 15 years if the Orioles do not receive approval from state officials to develop the areas of land surrounding Camden Yards. The team has until the end of 2027 to reach an agreement on that front.

The deal also features a no-relocation clause that financially disincentivizes the Orioles from leaving Baltimore, where the franchise has been located since 1954.

“There is nowhere the Orioles would rather play championship baseball than here at Camden Yards,” Orioles executive vice president and chief operating officer Greg Bader said during the Board of Public Works meeting.

“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,” Orioles chairman/CEO John Angelos said in a statement. “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.”

Angelos repeatedly expressed confidence a new deal would be finalized, dating back to a visit to the team's Spring Training facilities in Sarasota, Fla., in February. He also stated a desire to upgrade the Camden Yards complex by constructing housing, entertainment experiences and more, similar to The Battery outside of Truist Park in Atlanta.

The finalization of the new lease deal unlocks $600 million to fund upgrades to the ballpark, because of legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2022. The Ravens -- who play at M&T Bank Stadium next door on Russell Street -- recently announced plans to use a projected $430 million of the $600 million they received to fund stadium improvements.

Angelos has stated plans to use the Orioles’ incoming assets to upgrade behind-the-scenes components of Camden Yards, such as boilers/air conditioning, amenities and seating. He has also expressed a desire to improve the audio/video systems and scoreboards, as the current ones were installed in 2008.

“This agreement ushers in a new era for the Orioles organization, our fans, visitors and the residents of this incredible city, and does so in a way that will complement the next three decades of Oriole Magic,” Orioles executive vice president of public affairs Kerry Watson said in a statement. “What’s next is an opportunity for a campus that brings life to the city 365 days a year.”