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Baltimore Orioles and Ravens split US$1.2bn in public funding for venue upgrades

Funds to go into upgrading Camden Yards Sports Complex in bid to keep teams in Maryland.

13 April 2022 Rory Jones

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  • Fund marks the second largest ever public investment into an MLB team, after New York Yankees in 2009
  • Orioles’ lease at Oriole Park runs until 2023, with Ravens’ M&T Bank deal expiring in 2028

Baltimore’s major league sports teams, the Orioles and Ravens, are each set to receive US$600 million in state funding to support infrastructure upgrades at the Camden Yards Sports Complex where their respective stadia are based.

The Maryland State legislature approved the US$1.2 billion funding bill, which local media suggest the Major League Baseball (MLB) and National Football League (NFL) teams could use to expand Camden Yards’ entertainment capabilities.

To date, Camden Yards has hosted more than 2,500 professional events, drawing around 75 million visitors, but this kind of infrastructure investment would allow that to grow further.

According to local reports, it is hoped that the funding grant will convince the teams to stay in Baltimore beyond their current leases. The MLB team’s lease at Oriole Park runs until 2023, while the Ravens’ current contract at M&T Bank Stadium expires in 2028. The Orioles also have an option to sign a one-time, five-year extension by 1st February 2023.

In terms of public funding for MLB venues, the US$600 million for the Orioles marks the second largest investment ever, eclipsed only by what the New York Yankees received from local authorities for the construction of their new Yankee Stadium in 2009.

In a statement ahead of the team’s home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers on 11th April, Orioles chief executive John Angelos said: “These public funds are just a portion of the more than US$10 billion in economic tourism impact generated by the Orioles during the past three decades at Camden Yards.”

Oriole Park has been the home of the Orioles since its completion in 1992 at a cost of US$110 million. Last year, as the venue approached its 30th anniversary, there was speculation over the team’s future in Baltimore.

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