State OKs altered O's lease giving naming rights, $10 million

September 20, 2001|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Board of Public Works approved amendments to the Orioles' lease at Camden Yards yesterday that give the team the naming rights to the stadium and provide a one-time, $10 million payment for stadium improvements. The amendments carry out the terms of an arbitrator's decision in favor of the Orioles on those issues.

Another amendment gave all the revenues from weddings and banquets held in the club lounges to the Maryland Stadium Authority, as well as an equal share of revenue on non-baseball events - a point on which the state prevailed.

The board approved the contract unanimously in spite of misgivings expressed by Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and Treasurer Richard N. Dixon. Dixon questioned the authority's legal ability to commit the $10 million without approval by the General Assembly.

But stadium authority officials noted that any delay of the amendments could put the state in default of the arbitrator's binding decision calling for the payment to be made by Dec. 1, before the General Assembly convenes.

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