The Orioles don’t want to share the profits with the state if Camden Yards has to host more concerts like the upcoming Paul McCartney show or Billy Joel performances from 2019.
The Orioles’ lease with the Maryland Stadium Authority, which owns Oriole Park at Camden Yards, gives the MSA the option to financially participate in (or not participate in) non-baseball special events at the venue. If MSA joins an event, it receives 45 percent of the revenue while the Orioles receive 55 percent.
However, for a June 12 show featuring music legend McCartney, the Orioles have asked the MSA to opt out. MSA’s board of directors unanimously agreed to do so during a meeting on Tuesday.
MSA Executive Director Michael Franz said during the meeting, “The Orioles have told us that our participation in these will be a significant discouragement for them to bring further events to the stadium.” “We clearly wish to maximize these events, so in this case, we have chosen to accept what they have told us and exit this financial involvement in the Paul McCartney concert.”
So, the Orioles will receive full revenue from this event. But they all also accept risks. Should money be lost in concert due to bad weather or any other reason, MSA would not suffer, but the Orioles would suffer.
“Hopefully June 12 will be a beautiful night, but it can rain, things happen,” said MSA president Thomas Kelso, “and so when you have these concerts there is a risk and in this scenario, our Has zero risk.
Event tickets have a 10% entertainment tax, of which 20% goes to the city and 80% goes to the MSA.
“It’s a great thing. We don’t take any risks and we make 8% of the total amount of tickets sold,” Kelso said of the entertainment tax. He estimated the tax revenue for MSA to be $700,000, or $800,000 “If they don’t event, we get nothing. We get 8% of zero.”
Leonard Atman, a member of the MSA board, asked what the potential loss in revenue would be for the exit, which Franz said was not known. Another board member, Minerva Riddick, asked if the decision to pull out was “not permanent”. Kelso did not respond directly, but said MSA should be liable to exit in the future as they would still produce 8% Entertainment tax – which they would not receive if the Orioles were not hosting the concert.
Oriole Park has historically been a baseball-specific venue. Billy Joel was seen by a sold-out crowd of nearly 40,000 people in 2019, the park’s first major concert.
Kelso cited the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1995, saying, “The Orioles did nothing more than play baseball and pope.”
Like the McCartney concerts, MSA also pulled out of revenue sharing from The Billy Joel Show three years earlier, a concession the MSA made to encourage the team to bring in more non-baseball events.
When the Orioles were asked whether, in the future, they would ask the state to opt out of financial participation in concerts, the team did not directly answer. The Orioles provided a statement to the Baltimore Sun, saying it was investing resources into making Camden Yards “one of the premier, year-round entertainment venues for world-renowned artists and tourists.”
“After experiencing incredible success with the Billy Joel concert sold out in 2019, we intend to build on that achievement by hosting one of the greatest musicians of all time at Sir Paul McCartney, bringing in more concerts, festivals and It’s a big step. Entertainment program for Charm City,” the statement continued. “We look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts with the city, state and many of our community partners to move another 75 million people to Downtown Baltimore and ultimately the club’s more than $10 billion impact for the state of Maryland.” be extended.”
In its 2019 financial and annual review, MSA wrote that it was pleased with the Billy Joel concert and “looks forward to future bookings at the beloved ballpark.”
McCartney will play Camden Yards on Sunday, June 12 at 8 p.m. as part of the “Got Back” tour. This is their first show in Baltimore since the Beatles played in the city in 1964.