The Baltimore Orioles had a deal with global investment management firm T. Rowe Price to change the name of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, sources with knowledge of the matter confirmed to The Baltimore Banner.
The sources, who asked not to be named so they could speak freely about the matter, said the parties had planned to hold an announcement on the deal on Feb. 6. But the future of the agreement, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, became uncertain when T. Rowe Price was notified that Orioles chairman and CEO John Angelos planned to sell a controlling stake to a group led by billionaire David Rubenstein, a bombshell that became public Jan. 31.
One source said the deal was for 10 years, with the park being renamed T. Rowe Price Park at Camden Yards.
Neither T. Rowe Price nor a representative for Angelos responded to a request for comment from The Banner. But the sources said that the investment manager — currently headquartered in Downtown Baltimore and planning to move to new offices in Harbor Point this year — had eyed the naming rights deal as a way to build on its brand.
The sale of the team — valued at more than $1.7 billion — came as a surprise not just to T. Rowe Price. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, who had engaged in months of intense negotiations over a new lease for the ball club to remain at Camden Yards, was not informed of the sale prior to its becoming public. Moore and Angelos, who had been personal friends even before the Maryland Democrat took office in 2023, ultimately agreed to a lease deal this past December.
It’s not known whether the ownership group will move forward with the T. Rowe Price naming rights deal, the sources said. A spokesperson for Rubenstein said he would not comment on any matters involving the team until the sale is finalized.
The name “Oriole Park at Camden Yards” has stood since the stadium opened in 1992, and Peter Angelos, who bought the team in 1993, once said he wanted to preserve it.
”I would never do anything to alter the Camden Yards name,” he said in 2000. “My goal is to retain Oriole Park. It’s known throughout the world as the finest park.”
The Orioles, though, waged a successful fight in 2001 for the right to name the stadium, since the Baltimore Ravens had a clause in their lease to do so.
PSINet bought the rights for the Ravens’ stadium in 1999. It lasted until 2002, when the internet service provider went bankrupt. M&T Bank then signed a 15-year, $75 million contract with the Ravens in 2003 for a deal that has now been extended through 2027.
In 2015, John Angelos tweeted that “there never has been nor is there any plan whatsoever to sell the naming rights to Orioles Park at Camden Yards.”
But five years later, Angelos took over as the “control person” of the Orioles due to his father’s declining health. And last year, a report from the Sports Business Journal said the Orioles were exploring a sale of the naming rights for the field at Camden Yards, but a deal had not been completed. The Orioles’ lease with the state gives the team the exclusive right to receive revenue from selling the naming rights of the stadium.
It also stipulates that any name would be subject to the approval of the Maryland Stadium Authority, which would be given so long as the proposed title is not “obscene, in violation of Applicable Law, antithetical to the character of the Stadium as a prominent symbol of the State ... or a name that contains racial epithets, obscenities or signage displaying products or messages of a sexual nature.” It defines an “antithetical” identifier as one that contains references to tobacco, firearms, gaming or betting.
Banner reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this story.