The Orioles are officially in the hands of David Rubenstein.

Major League Baseball owners on Wednesday unanimously approved the sale of a controlling stake in the team to Rubenstein, a Baltimore native and billionaire, and his partners. It required an affirmative vote from at least 22 of the other 29 owners.

The deal values the franchise at $1.725 billion and includes the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which broadcasts Orioles and Nationals games.

“I congratulate David Rubenstein on receiving approval from the Major League Clubs as the new control person of the Orioles,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “As a Baltimore native and a lifelong fan of the team, David is uniquely suited to lead the Orioles moving forward. We welcome David and his partners as the new stewards of the franchise.”

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Before the vote, Rubenstein shared a picture from the field at Camden Yards alongside Cal Ripken Jr., one of the members of the investment group; manager Brandon Hyde; and star third baseman Gunnar Henderson.

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“To own the Orioles is a great civic duty. On behalf of my fellow owners, I want the Baltimore community and Orioles fans everywhere to know that we will work our hardest to deliver for you with professionalism, integrity, excellence and a fierce desire to win games,” Rubenstein said in a statement. “I thank John Angelos and his family for all they have done to bring us to this point. John led a dynamic overhaul of the team’s management, roster, recruitment strategy and farm system in recent years. Our job is to build on these accomplishments to advance a world-class professional sports agenda — with eyes on returning a World Series trophy to Baltimore.”

Rubenstein and his investors are inheriting a team that won 101 games last year and, with the No. 1 farm system at its disposal, is expected to contend for a second straight American League East title.

The investors — including billionaire Michael Bloomberg, Washington Spirit owner Michele Kang, former Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke and NBA Hall of Famer Grant Hill — will start out owning 40% of the team, with the Angelos family retaining 30% and serving an advisory role. A group of minority owners holds the remaining shares.

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“I thank our entire partnership group and our talented front office team for their confidence and support of my efforts to restore the Orioles to elite status in Major League Baseball, to renew and extend our long-term partnership in Baltimore so that the next generation of Marylanders will grow up enjoying the Birds of Baltimore, and to transition stewardship of the Club to David and his partnership group,” John Angelos said in a statement.

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Fans and officials celebrated the sale when it became public in late January.

In a joint statement at the time, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, the Maryland Stadium Authority and the Moore administration sent their congratulations to the new ownership group.

“The governor looks forward to continuing the strong relationship between the State of Maryland and the Baltimore Orioles,” the statement said. “Governor Moore would like to thank the Angelos family for their contributions to the Orioles community and this storied franchise. Keeping the Orioles in Baltimore for the long term was a key priority for this administration and we are proud that this transaction won’t change that.

“The Baltimore Orioles are a treasured piece of our community, and the governor looks forward to the upcoming season, as well as the future work to spur economic momentum in the entire City of Baltimore and throughout the state.”

With the transaction complete, the Angelos family’s three-decade stewardship of the team comes to a close. Peter Angelos, a Highlandtown native and famed personal-injury lawyer, led a group that bought the Orioles in 1993 to bring the club back under local ownership for the first time in 14 years.

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He died Saturday at 94.

On Angelos’ watch, the team saw early success, with sellout crowds at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which opened the year before the sale, and back-to-back American League Championship Series appearances in 1996 and 1997.

But he earned a reputation as a meddler who interfered in baseball operations, and the Orioles slid into a 14-year losing streak from 1998 to 2011. After a brief resurgence under manager Buck Showalter that saw playoff appearances in 2012, 2014 and 2016, the team again fell to the bottom of the standings.

Under the direction of Peter’s son John Angelos, who in 2020 was approved as the team’s control person due to his father’s declining health, the Orioles underwent a top-to-bottom rebuild focused on player development. Those efforts paid off in 2023, when a young core of players propelled the team to the postseason for the first time in seven years.

Reports of Rubenstein’s interest in the Orioles started circulating in December, when John Angelos and lawmakers were involved in intense talks over a new stadium lease.

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Angelos called Moore to say his family was not planning to sell, and the team and state finalized a lease the following week that keeps the team in Baltimore for at least 15 years and possibly decades longer. It gives them $600 million to spend on stadium improvements and three years to negotiate a ground lease on areas around Camden Yards for potential redevelopment.

By the end of January, though, the deal between Rubenstein and Angelos was done.

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Rubenstein has tried to buy a baseball team before, joining a bid with Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Wizards, Capitals and Mystics, in 2022 to buy the Nationals.

Leonsis reportedly offered $2 billion for the Nationals in late 2022, but a sale did not move forward and the Lerners, who own the team, pulled the club off the market.

Reports did not indicate if Rubenstein was still involved in the offer for the Nationals. He turned to the Orioles and had been telling his inner circle for some time that he was interested in buying the team.

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Rubenstein made his fortune as a co-founder of the Carlyle Group, one of the largest private equity firms in the world. He has a net worth of $3.9 billion and is one of the 400 richest people in the country, according to Forbes.

Since the agreement became public, he has made several public appearances — greeting fans and meeting with team officials during spring training and touring Camden Yards.

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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