After blowing through several of Orioles owner John Angelos’s self-suggested dates by which a new lease for the team to remain at Oriole Park at Camden Yards would be signed, he finally got one done. The team, along with Governor Wes Moore, announced the completion of a new 30-year lease that will keep the Orioles in Baltimore for decades to come.
Every significantly involved person has maintained all along that it would get done. Why it took so long to be completed is a matter of some interest, but ultimately it pales in comparison to the importance of the deal being done. The lease expiring at the end of the year drama is over. It’s settled. The Baltimore Banner’s Andy Kostka reported that in addition to the 30 years, there are two five-year options on the back end of the term as well.
The signing of a long-term lease will allow the Orioles to access $600 million in state funding over the course of the lease in order to make improvements to the stadium. Throughout the saga, there have been assorted reports about what generously might be called ambitious demands by Angelos and less generously called delusional that have been made.
It will be interesting to see what kind of plans the team puts into place with that money. Those plans have not been made public up to this point. Neither have the terms of the lease.
There was certainly an element of theater involved in the announcement, with the team revealing the new lease on the Jumbotron to fans attending Thursday’s game at Camden Yards exactly as they made the news public through the usual channels. The game, as you’ve probably heard, has the potential to be an AL East clincher if the Orioles hold on to the 1-0 lead they have as of this writing.