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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Fresh Off Turnaround Season, The Orioles Could Be Facing Big Changes

  • MLB team reportedly nears sale agreement with local native and billionaire.
  • Deal potentially arriving amid critical juncture for club as lease deadline nears.
Baltimore Orioles
Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

Just as the Baltimore Orioles are set to begin a critical new era, they could welcome a new franchise owner to the helm. 

The Orioles, who are majority-owned by the 94-year-old Peter Angelos and led by his son, team chair and CEO John Angelos, are in talks to sell to Carlyle Group Inc. founder David Rubenstein, according to a Bloomberg report. 

Born and raised in Baltimore, Rubenstein was previously a deputy domestic policy advisor to president Jimmy Carter. He has been an active philanthropist and leader of his private equity group, and he currently holds an estimated net worth of $3.6 billion. 

The club carries an estimated value of $1.7 billion.

Lease Negotiations

Representatives for Rubenstein and the Orioles have not commented, but if the deal happens, it would come at a particularly crucial juncture for the team. The Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority are facing a Dec. 31 deadline to finalize a 30-year lease extension that would not only keep the team at the publicly owned Camden Yards, but it could lead to mixed-use development around the venerable ballpark.

Those two parties previously completed a memorandum of understanding, but as the deadline for a final deal approaches, division has resurfaced over how to approach the development. State officials would prefer to complete development parameters after first finalizing a more narrow lease extension, but the club is pushing to have all elements considered in a larger agreement.

The potential ownership shift also arrives on the heels of a renaissance season for the Orioles, who in 2023 enjoyed a 101-win regular season before losing in the Division Series to the eventual World Series-winning Texas Rangers.

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