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Orioles reportedly exploring stadium naming rights sale

The Sports Business Journal says the team is “quietly” looking into a “Company X Field at Camden Yards” deal

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles
Your company name here.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

John Angelos is trying to strike again, and this time he didn’t even need to open his mouth publicly to do it. The Sports Business Journal released a short report on Thursday morning saying that according to sources, “the Orioles have been quietly taking Camden Yards naming rights to market this year.”

The SBJ report from Terry Lefton indicates that the sponsorship being sought would lead to a stadium name that’s something like “Company X Field at Camden Yards.” This would undoubtedly be a rude shock to any Orioles fans who’ve been proud that there’s no dumb corporate name attached to Oriole Park at Camden Yards in any way. One of the positives in the Peter Angelos column was always that he was said to be against selling any stadium rights. This seems to be another reminder that the son is not the father.

It’s not exactly an unprecedented trend in the sports world. Look no further than elsewhere in the state of Maryland and the Orioles High-A affiliate’s stadium is called Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. The Journal notes that it would be a first for an MLB team to do something like this. The Field at Stadium name structure is at preesent done with two NFL stadiums. With a two-part name already, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is set up well for something like that, unfortunately for anyone who has gotten used to the sound of OPACY.

According to the Journal, the team’s aim is to secure a deal of ten years for somewhere in the range of $6-8 million per year. The bank that sponsors the next door Ravens stadium pays $6 million per year for those rights in a deal that runs through 2027. There’s no question that’s real money, though it’s real money that we have no idea when it might actually be repurposed into the major league team’s payroll. It’s not like putting a wrecking ball to something iconic for less than the minimum salary of one player.

This is a lot like what just happened with the removal of THE SUN sign at the stadium. Something that had settled in to being a classic part of the stadium’s classic look was abruptly removed because the space wasn’t properly monetized. Here we are weeks later and now it is the stadium’s name itself that is apparently not properly monetized. Selling ten years of “field” naming rights before the Orioles have even finalized a 20+ year lease would be kind of darkly comic.

Don’t panic yet. It may not happen. The Journal’s report also includes the tidbit that at least one team, the Dodgers, has been periodically trying to sell something similar for their own stadium for at least six years and they have not reached any deal yet. The Orioles quest could end up similarly, with the team believing the partial naming rights are worth more than any company is currently willing to pay.

If John Angelos does end up being at the helm for the swap to Old Bay Field at Camden Yards or anything else, one thing to keep in mind is that you, the fan, do not have to use the name. They aren’t paying you or me. Although if the company does want to pay me, I’ll never complain about this on Camden Chat again and will use the new name where appropriate for the low price of 1% of the annual sponsorship value. Everyone has their price.