Orioles and Maryland reach tentative 30-year lease deal, sources say, pending needed approvals

Jeff Barker, Hayes Gardner and Emily Opilo, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Baseball

BALTIMORE — After years of negotiation and a nonbinding memorandum of understanding reached in September, the Orioles and the state of Maryland have reached a tentative agreement on a lease deal that would keep the club at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for at least 30 more years, according to two people directly familiar with the document.

The agreement is expected to go before the Maryland Stadium Authority board for approval during a special meeting Tuesday, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because the deal has not yet been approved.

Then it would go to the state Board of Public Works for its approval at its meeting scheduled for Wednesday. That three-person spending panel consists of Gov. Wes Moore, Treasurer Dereck Davis and Comptroller Brooke Lierman, all Democrats.

The governor’s office has not announced the agreement yet, but elected officials were being briefed about the details. The deal will not be final until it’s approved by both boards and signed by the Orioles and the state.

The Orioles, the governor’s office and the stadium authority did not reply immediately to a request for comment.

The deal would commit the Orioles to state-owned Camden Yards for decades to come, as outlined in a memorandum agreed to in September. The lease, however, would depart from the memorandum in some ways.


Under the memorandum, some stadium authority employees were at risk of losing their jobs because the MSA’s traditional maintenance and operations authority was to be transferred to the Orioles.

No MSA employee will lose their job under the new agreement, said one of the sources.

During negotiations, the MSA previously had floated a proposal under which authority employees would retain their positions, including health and retirement benefits, but be contracted out to the club. It could not be determined immediately Friday whether that was the course that was settled on.

The memorandum had faced criticism from former stadium authority officials who said it would give the Orioles too much power to spend public dollars without state oversight. Former authority Chair Thomas Kelso wrote in a Sun commentary that the memorandum would cause some stadium authority employees to lose their positions and “eviscerate the MSA’s role and responsibility at Oriole Park and reverse nearly four decades of success.”


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