Board OKs plan for $10M payment


October 25, 2001|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Board of Public Works yesterday approved a plan for financing a $10 million contribution the state must make to a fund for improving Oriole Park.

The payment is required under the terms of a July 6 decision by a panel of arbitrators that found the Ravens received a somewhat better lease from the Maryland Stadium Authority than the Orioles did. The Orioles' lease guarantees terms that are "fairly comparable" to those of its football neighbor at Camden Yards.

The authority will sell short-term notes to raise the $10 million, which the arbitrators said must be deposited by Dec. 1. The state had asked the Orioles and arbitrators for more time, pointing out that money in the stadium-improvement fund can't be spent before next July according to the lease.

The arbitrators refused to extend the deadline, and the Orioles insisted on interest or other concessions. As a result, the state will borrow the money, paying more than $600,000 in interest and fees, to make the deadline and give state lawmakers a chance to find the money in the budget or issue bonds when the General Assembly convenes early next year.

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