Inside the B&O Warehouse, within a conference room that looked out on the field that would soon have Orioles players on it for opening day, new owner David Rubenstein outlined his mission of securing a ground lease around the ballpark, addressed potential stadium naming rights deals and emphasized his desire to bring a World Series title to Baltimore.

The press conference, which also included Gov. Wes Moore and co-owner Michael Arougheti, began with a moment of silence for the victims of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. It continued with rallying cries, particularly from Moore, for the city and region to come together in the wake of the tragedy.

“This team reminds us what we’re made of,” Moore said. “The Orioles give us hope. The Orioles give us pride. The Orioles remind us what it means to be Maryland tough and Baltimore strong. So today Baltimore stands strong. Baltimore stands tough. And Baltimore plans on seeing it through.”

In that sense, the Orioles are ringing in opening day at a key point for the city. A year ago, Moore said, there was uncertainty around the franchise. The lease at Oriole Park was set to expire at the end of the year, and on the field it wasn’t yet apparent how strong the team could be.

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Now the Orioles are coming off 101 wins and an AL East title. The ballpark lease extends for at least 15 years and likely 30. The new ownership group vows to support the franchise and city. And there’s a clear path toward finalizing a development plan around the park.

As part of the lease, the Orioles have until the end of 2027 to finalize and receive state approval for a ground lease. In an earlier conversation with The Baltimore Banner, Rubenstein said his hope is to conclude that process as soon as possible. On Thursday, he gave a clearer timeline.

Rubenstein said he and the governor have discussed the ground lease and they hope to complete a plan by the end of the year. “And the governor convinced me that he would get it through the legislature as soon as possible,” Rubenstein said, “so thank you very much, Governor, for that.”

There was limited time for questions, and an exact plan with development details was not available. John Angelos, the former control person of the franchise, spoke of a “live, work, play” setup that could include year-round entertainment options.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore speaks during a news conference at Camden Yards on Thursday. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

With the new lease came an allotment of $600 million in bond funding from the state that the Orioles can use to upgrade Camden Yards. The lease listed several possible upgrades, including a rooftop bar where the upper-deck seats are near left field and improved video boards and sound systems.

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Rubenstein said bringing an All-Star Game to Camden Yards is “obviously something we’re interested in,” although he recognized that MLB has already allocated All-Star Game locations for 2024, 2025 and 2026.

“We hope by that time [2027] that the stadium will be rehabilitated a bit, and therefore we’d like to show it off,” Rubenstein said. “We want to make sure we have it completed, though.”

Rubenstein said he’s aware of interest in a corporate partnership to take over the stadium naming rights of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. An agreed-upon deal with the Baltimore-based global investment management firm T. Rowe Price hit a roadblock when the sale of a controlling stake of the Orioles was announced Jan. 31.

“There have been proposals for that,” Rubenstein said. “No decision is imminent, and I am familiar with the proposal that came forward. But, you know, it’s something we’ll take a look at, but nothing is going to happen immediately. And I have been in touch with those people that would like to do the naming, and I just have to follow up after we get the opening day things behind us.”

There are numerous members of the ownership group, including Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and Arougheti’s peers at Ares Management Corp., Mitchell Goldstein and Michael Smith.

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For Ripken, his place in Orioles lore was already secure. He won a World Series in 1983 and became baseball’s Iron Man. His role as part of the ownership group just builds his sense of place in Baltimore.

“It’s an exciting day for me personally,” Ripken said when called onstage by Rubenstein. “I want to thank David and Michael for the opportunity to be a part of the ownership group. I’ve loved the Orioles since I was about 5 years old.”

Ripken’s passion for the team’s success is known. Arougheti and Rubenstein share it, even if they never played a game (Rubenstein joked he might’ve played professional baseball if only he were taller, stronger and more skilled). Arougheti and Rubenstein both made their intentions of a World Series clear.

“We are together in our steadfast hunger to bring the World Series championship back to Baltimore, as soon as possible,” Arougheti said. “We will do everything that we can to do that.”

Hearing statements such as those not only invigorates a fan base. It fires up a clubhouse.

“You want the leadership to be wanting a World Series as much as we do,” said shortstop Gunnar Henderson, who met Rubenstein this week. “Feel like he has the same mindset.”