SARASOTA, Fla. — A sold-out Orioles crowd flocked to Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday to see the reigning AL East Champions face the Yankees for the first time in 2024. And there too, among the orange, was David Rubenstein, who agreed to acquire the team last month.

The goal of the trip was to meet people and see the team in action. His day started with breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton, where he dined with current owner John Angelos, manager Brandon Hyde and general manager Mike Elias. After, he made his way to the stadium, where he sat in a box next to Angelos.

Rubenstein, hand in hand with his partner, then strolled the concourse, shaking hands with fans and posing for pictures.

Soon this will all be his. Angelos sold the team in January to Rubenstein and a group that includes Cal Ripken Jr. and billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Rubenstein’s crew will initially own 40% of the team, making them the majority partner, with Angelos retaining 30%.

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The sale is moving rapidly. It is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks. MLB has it on the fast track, Commissioner Rob Manfred said.

“We’re working on the internal processes that need to be completed before the transaction can close,” Manfred said on Feb. 15 in his annual start-of-spring-training availability. “There’s lots of documents that need to be reviewed and whatnot to make sure they are in accordance with our rules.”

After MLB completes its part, the sale will be put to a vote of MLB owners, the final step before it is finalized. At least 22 of the other 29 owners need to vote in support of the sale for it to be approved.

Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College.

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