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Lack of fans at Camden Yards costs Maryland millions in rent

BALTIMORE — The woeful record of the Baltimore Orioles is combining with the coronavirus pandemic to cost the state millions of dollars in rent payments.

The Baltimore Sun reported Saturday that the team’s rent payments to the Maryland Stadium Authority have dropped precipitously in the past year due to low attendance and loss of ballpark-generated revenue.

The Orioles paid $1.6 million in rent to the Stadium Authority for the use of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in the fiscal year ending June 30. The team’s average annual rent of its 30-year lease has been $6.8 million.

The rent payments are based on a percentage of ticket sales, concessions, parking and stadium advertising.

The team has the worst record in the majors, and attendance is sparse. During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, fans were not allowed in the stadium at all. The rent losses are in addition to the loss of admission taxes on ticket sales.

The rent money is used specifically for the maintenance of the ballpark. Stadium officials say they have curtailed maintenance expenses accordingly.

The newspaper based its reporting on data obtained under the state’s Public Information Act.