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Orioles sale to David Rubenstein approved by Maryland Stadium Authority. MLB owners next to vote

Orioles sale to David Rubenstein approved by Maryland Stadium Authority
Orioles sale to David Rubenstein approved by Maryland Stadium Authority 02:44

BALTIMORE -- The Maryland Stadium Authority on Wednesday signed off on the sale of the Baltimore Orioles from the Angelos family to Baltimore native David Rubenstein. 

The board, which oversees Camden Yards, approved the transfer of ownership to "Inner Harbor Sports LLC," Rubenstein's group. 

The next hurdle is getting the sale approved by 75 percent of Major League Baseball owners. The MLB Ownership Committee approved the purchase earlier this month, but the full group hasn't voted yet on the deal. 

Rubenstein is set to purchase the Orioles for $1.725 billion once the owners approve the sale.

According to the agreement, Rubenstein will become the "control person" of the Orioles, while the Angelos family will continue to be a major investor after the deal's close. John Angelos will work with Rubenstein as a senior advisor.

Rubenstein, 74, has a net worth of $4.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He made his fortune in private equity.

Along with Rubenstein, the new ownership group includes Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr., Basketball Hall of Famer Grant Hill, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, who attended Baltimore's City College High School with Rubenstein.

Fans outside of Camden Yards on Wednesday are eager for the season to start and excited for a new era of Orioles' baseball.

The Orioles are coming off a 101-win season, an American League East title and a postseason berth.

"I think everyone's excited to see what this team can do the next couple years," Orioles fan Bill Niland.

The state and the Orioles agreed in December to a lease extension at Oriole Park that will keep the team in downtown Baltimore for at least another 15 years.

The deal comes with about $400 million in state funds for ballpark improvements.

Rubenstein shared photos earlier this month touring the ballpark and meeting with fans in the team store.

"He seems like he's the type of guy who just wants to put money into this team and see this team be a winner and, you know, bring a World Series back to Baltimore.

The Orioles last won a World Series in 1983.

Maryland Stadium Authority officials on Wednesday met with lawmakers to formalize repairs and improvements to the M&T Bank Stadium.

"These two funds—they're part of the lease," said Dawn Abshire, Maryland Stadium Authority CFO.

The deal the Ravens and the state inked last year establishes a capital works fund and *emergency repair* fund for M&T Bank Stadium.

The state contributes $10 million to start, then the two parties share the costs each year.

Fans say the future of Baltimore sports is bright.

"It looks great now and I think it only looks better in the future," Orioles fan Willie Coles said.

"I think this area could really use some face lifting a little bit," Niland added. "It's been here, but we still have one of the best ballparks in Major League Baseball."

Rubenstein has said he's staying quiet until the deal is finalized. There's still no indication when MLB owners will finalize the deal. 

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