The Importance Of Orioles’ $1.725 Billion Ownership Change For Baltimore And Camden Yards
The Baltimore Orioles sale to a group of investors led by billionaires in private equity David Rubenstein and Mike Arougheti has made news and sparked debates about what might happen to the team’s on-field success. But what the new ownership can do with off-field opportunities has the potential to bring even greater benefits to the team, city, and wider community.
According to Rubenstein, “the Orioles have an impact that goes far beyond the baseball diamond.” “Catalyzing development around Camden Yards and in downtown Baltimore will create additional economic opportunities for our community and leave a lasting legacy for generations of fans.”
1992 saw the opening of Camden Yards, a significant location in both sports and society. Camden Yards, a break from the generic multipurpose stadiums of the previous few decades, signaled the beginning of a new era in sports venue design and “the stadium experience.”
Leading the charge was Orioles president Larry Lucchino, along with vice president of planning and development Janet Marie Smith. The idea behind the ballpark was to pay homage to the history of neighborhood stadiums while integrating contemporary features. It was based on Edward Bennett Williams’ (the team’s owner at the time) belief that the Orioles’ home field would be essential to the team’s and the city’s future. Mayor William Donald Schaefer’s plans to revitalize the historic Inner Harbor district, which included building the Baltimore Ravens’ home stadium, M&T Bank Stadium, nearby, were in line with that vision.
The Orioles and the State of Maryland finalized a lease agreement late in the previous year that could see the team remain in Baltimore and at Camden Yards for the next thirty years. The deal made $600 million in public funds available for ballpark renovations. The 30-year agreement includes a 15-year option to terminate it if the franchise is unable to secure state approval for the development of land surrounding Camden Yards. But the Orioles are “an institution and an irreplaceable member of the community,” as current mayor Brandon Scott noted in a statement following the agreement’s completion. of the collective family that constitutes Charm City,” and the moment had arrived to bring the iconic ballpark and its surroundings up to date to become “the best version of itself.”
The lease offers a special chance for innovation for the new ownership group, the city, and their communities. The Orioles, local businesses in Baltimore, and community members can redouble their efforts to use Camden Yards as a center for social impact, economic development, and community advantages through public-private partnerships.
The ownership consortium is led by Arougheti, co-founder of Ares ManagementARES +0.9%, and Rubenstein, co-founder of Carlyle GroupCG -1.8%, both of whom were born and raised in the area. Ares Credit Group co-heads Mitchell Goldstein and Michael Smith will offer their expertise in capital raising and investment banking. However, they and the other participants offer something more to the endeavor that values Baltimore’s Major League Baseball team at $1.725 billion than just financial clout, well-known names, and business acumen: