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Gov. Moore puts temporary halt on new lease for Orioles following objection from senate president

Gov. Moore puts temporary halt on new lease for Orioles following objection from senate president
Gov. Moore puts temporary halt on new lease for Orioles following objection from senate president 02:18

BALTIMORE -- Maryland Gov. Wes Moore has put the brakes on a new lease for the Baltimore Orioles.

Negotiations over the complex lease agreement came to a halt after Senate President Bill Ferguson raised concerns about some of the conditions surrounding the lease.

Ferguson said in a statement that the long-term lease for the ballpark "should not be conditioned on whether or not a private owner receives a 99-year ground lease to develop land owned by Maryland taxpayers."

He added that he was pleased to see that progress had been made between the Orioles and the Moore administration toward agreeing on "a lease and facilities use agreement for the ballpark at Camden Yards."

"I'm confident the parties will reach a fair deal before the end of the year, and I appreciate the Governor and his team in getting us closer to that objective," he said.

Moore's administration understands Ferguson's concerns and remains hopeful that there is a way to move forward with the lease, Communications Director and Senior Adviser David Turner said in a statement.

"While President Ferguson expressed support for a majority of the deal, he stated his principled disagreement on the framework of the proposed ground lease, and as a result, the administration will continue to work to address those concerns with the stadium agreement that the Maryland Stadium Authority, the Moore-Miller Administration, and the Baltimore Orioles have put forth," Turner said.

Moore told WJZ earlier this year that the number one priority in negotiating a lease is to make sure that taxpayers get a fair deal. 

"We have to make sure we are creating winners on and off the field," Moore said.  

The Orioles and the state of Maryland announced a non-binding "memorandum of understanding" that would keep the baseball team in Baltimore long-term back in September. 

"I definitely was happy to hear they were coming back for a while," Orioles fan Justin Wood said. "It was great news at the time."  

The Oriole's lease expires on December 31. 

If a deal is reached between the team and the state, then it would then go to the state's Board of Public Works. The board is scheduled to meet on Dec. 13.

"I can understand where the points of contention come from, but I think all of us are just ready to be done," Orioles fan Luke Smith said.  

Also, depending on how the deal is structured, it may require approval from the Maryland General Assembly.

WJZ's media partner The Baltimore Banner has reported that the Orioles have been pushing back against signing a long-term lease that doesn't include development rights at the Camden Yards complex.

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