The Orioles and the City of Baltimore have hit another snag in their attempts to reach a new lease agreement ahead of the Dec. 31 expiration date. On Friday, Governor Wes Moore "paused" an agreement in response to concerns held by State Senate President Bill Ferguson, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Ferguson objected to a provision that would have given the Orioles franchise owners, the Angelos family, developmental rights on the state property around Camden Yards.
"Fundamentally, I believe that the long-term lease for the use of the ballpark should not be conditioned on whether or not a private owner receives a 99-year ground lease to develop land owned by Maryland taxpayers," Ferguson wrote in a statement. "This is more relevant today, as recent news has heightened uncertainties about the future ownership of the team."
This drama arises months after the Orioles and Moore announced they had reached a new agreement during a September game at Camden Yards. That turned out to be an overstatement. What the pair had actually signed was a non-binding memorandum of understanding.
Earlier this week, a Bloomberg report indicated that Baltimore native and private equity entity David Rubenstein was in talks to acquire the Orioles from the Angelos family. The chances of a sale being completed are unclear at this time.
The Orioles have faced a slew of ownership- and location-related questions in recent years since Peter Angelos became incapacitated by illness. Earlier this year, a lawsuit that pitted one of Angelos' wife and one of his sons (John) against the other son (Louis) was settled. In that suit, Louis alleged that John had designs on relocating the franchise to Nashville, Tennessee. Peter Angelos originally purchased the franchise in 1993, just a year after Camden Yards opened.
On the field, the Orioles are coming off a 101-win effort that resulted in their first division title since 2014.