BALTIMORE — Baseball fans celebrating the Orioles 2-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers have something else to celebrate.
Before the teamed returned to Camden Yards for Monday's home opener, the team announced a billion other reasons to celebrate.
Maryland is making a billion-dollar commitment to reinvest and reimagine the entire Camden Yards Sports Complex which includes both oriole park and the Raven's home, M&T Bank Stadium.
In 2021, there was talk of whether the Orioles would ever leave Camden Yards. The billion dollar investment announcement is another part of the commitment to not only keeping the team in Baltimore but to the future of Camden Yards.
Part of the vision for the future of Camden Yards includes making it an entertainment destination.
Music fans first got a taste of that when Billy Joel took the stage in the summer of 2019. Now, another music legend, Paul McCartney, will perform at Camden Yards during summer 2022.
The Maryland General Assembly passed $1.2 billion in public funding to reinvest and imagine the Camden Yards Sports Complex. The money will be split equally, with $600 million for Oriole Park and $600 million for M&T Bank Stadium.
The funding could help bring even more big concerts and events to Baltimore.
It's the second-largest public commitment to any Major League Baseball team. Only the New York Yankees have received a higher amount for when a new Yankee Stadium was built back in 2009.
To put the billion-dollar investment into perspective, Oriole Park only cost $110 million to build thirty years ago.
The bill passed by the General Assembly increases the amount of taxable or tax-exempt bonds that the Maryland Stadium Authority or MSA may issue for Camden Yards.
It also requires the fiscal 2023 budget to transfer more than $14 million dollars of lottery revenue to the Maryland stadium facilities fund.
The MSA believes the bill helps ensure that both the Orioles and the Ravens will stay at Camden Yards beyond their current lease terms.
MSA officials thought the teams would not renew their leases without improvements to the stadiums. It is those improvements which could help negotiate new long-term lease agreements with both teams.
The Baltimore Orioles’ original lease was set to expire at the end of 2021, but the orioles signed a two-year extension through the end of 2023. The team can make a one-time, five-year extension by February 1, 2023.
The Ravens lease at M&T Bank Stadium currently ends in February 2028.