Former Maryland Stadium Authority chairman Tom Kelso returns to answer more of Nestor’s very serious questions about the Baltimore Orioles lease, the “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) and what happens to Steve Bisciotti and the Ravens if Governor Wes Moore promises all of The Warehouse and Camden Yards land and power to the Angelos family.
stadium, orioles, lease, legislature, ravens, maryland, money, giving, december, mou, governor, state, teams, authority, baltimore, agreed, john, people, kelso, nestor
Nestor J. Aparicio, Tom Kelso
Nestor J. Aparicio 00:01
Welcome back at W n s t tacit Baltimore and Baltimore positive we have talked a lot of raving football around here. I got Marilyn crabcake tours out on the road. It’s all brought to you by the Maryland lottery in conjunction with our friends at window nation, and Jiffy Lube multicam. We’re going to be in a lot of places the whole schedule up to Baltimore positive, we talking about it here. But we got some downtime, through the holidays here with thanksgiving and before the end of the year. I can walk and chew gum at the same time, even though we have a football team that’s doing well and we’re worried about Mark Andrews and Lamar and the offense and trips and all that. And we have all of these baseball awards coming out right we’re we’re manager the year we’re rookie of the year we’re Executive of the Year. We’re stadium of every year, right because we’re Camden Yards. I have expressed grave grave concerns about the Angelus family about the amount of money about what Westmore is getting himself into what the legislature might be on. And I have experts around me luckily for me, I have people way smarter than me. Who know thinks this guy here is a repeat offender. He’s back for more he will be back again with us on the first of December at the Hollywood casino this piece here if you heard Tom Kelso speech with me a few weeks ago. It was long, it was rambling. I learned a lot. You learned a lot. I was alarmed. You should be alarmed. Tom Kelso is back the former Maryland stadium authority chairman. And Tom First off, welcome. Thanks for coming back on I must say this to you since the last time you were on. And you and I didn’t know each other at all, we began, I didn’t realize you weren’t, like, compensated for even doing this job when you were doing it, let alone now. So you never made any money running the Maryland stadium authority for eight years as a chairman. I’m a little blown away by that. But I do remember moebs era of being pro bono. But I would say for anybody shooting arrows at you the concept at me on Angelo’s whatever, I don’t know who’s got John Angelos his back at this point. But you are a citizen, who is concerned about our tax dollars in the future the city, and you didn’t even make a million dollars doing this, you didn’t make anything?
Tom Kelso 02:05
Well, and after, thanks for having me back on. I really appreciate it. And I enjoyed our first time together. And I look forward to getting together on December the first. But I knew I wasn’t going to be compensated when I was nominated as chairman. And I think the part that I did not realize and probably none of my success or previous chairs, realized when they were nominated is to just how time intensive a role it really is, in order to do it. Right. And, you know, I came along at a time when, as I had mentioned before is is that if Larry Hogan was reelected in 2018, and he kept me as chairman, is is that we were going to have to deal with this situation related to the oriels leads that was set to expire in December of 2021. So you know, we really started working on developing a plan as to how we would work with the Orioles approach the Orioles induced the Orioles into a lease negotiation. And we started developing that back the very first two or three months that I was chairman and so it added a lot of time to a volunteer role.
Nestor J. Aparicio 03:24
Well, I’ll just say this, if you haven’t seen the first 70 minutes of what is an ongoing, I’d like the the Hardy Boys are Nancy Drew at this point. We’re like, we’re just we’re getting into chapters here. And we’re going through this because it’s thick. It’s thick for everybody. It’s thick for reporters. I’ve talked to many, many journalists in the city of don’t understand any of this, who hadn’t been on the radio for 32 years watching all of this and answering questions and knowing previous chairman and knowing how businesses dumped the Angelo’s family in with the leagues since the last time you and I got together Major League Baseball gave Oakland away. They’ve all agreed to go to Las Vegas. So there is a thought that well, they’re moving the franchise why would they move the Orioles to Nashville, John wanted that right. So I know we’re here today and we’re going to keep this to a limited piece. And this is per my request of you Tom Kelso is that when we saw Westmore up in the owners box cheering himself cheering John. The Orioles are about to clinch the American League East. And they put this thing up on the scoreboard and I reach for my phone and I send an email to Wes. And I say congratulations and he sends me back. This is going to be great the next morning and then we find out that like this isn’t a lease this isn’t a deal. The governor can’t even give him 300 extra million dollars without going to the legislature without having other people at the state level that that how much you needed to do to get to 1.2 million and get that voted on and people didn’t even know about it. I don’t even know your name. Nobody knew anything about this. That Now we everything you gave away. And you can justify saying there were studies and 600 for you, Steve 600. For you, John. It’s not really 600 It’s a bond it floats 15 years we went through all these pieces, but the MOU and the land and what’s been allegedly promised the John angelos, per Westmore, back in September that hasn’t been spoken about the governor has his book, nobody’s speaking about this, journalists are opining a little bit. But there aren’t that many than understand it. The most alarming part of this isn’t just that we’re going to give them more money, and that’s going to kick in a parody clause, it’s going to get Steve more money. But when you start giving away the warehouse, and giving away parking spots and giving away land, and start talking about eminent domain, in various areas, because they’re gonna need to park and then what the Steve get. So I want to let you speak to that, because that was my question. You were I’m scratching my head. I’m like, All right, they’re gonna give John land and stuff. What are they gonna give Steve? That sounds like parity at that point. And then where are we going to park cars. And more than that, they’re breaking up the Maryland stadium authority. They’re they’re taking away you and everybody like you, that would stand in the way to say that’s a good idea. Bad idea. Not to mention, they’re doing it with our money.
Tom Kelso 06:21
Nestor as usual, there’s a lot to unpack. And what you said, you know, I will say is that I’ve never heard John say he wanted to go to Nashville. Everybody presumes he wants to go to Nashville. And I understand why people might be concerned. But you know, people think I’m a critic of Governor Moore, or a governor of John Angelos. I’m not really a critic of either. I’m just trying to get the facts out there. And I just like to make sure that when people talk about this, is that they talk about, you know, what’s really included in the MOU as opposed to what people think might be included in it. But the idea of the stadium authority being significantly modified or dissolved, is is a big issue, because since 1986, when the authority was created by statute is is that the authority has stood in the place of the citizens and taxpayers of Maryland, in representing them in dealing with professional sports teams, and professional sports teams. We love them. Congratulations to the Ravens last night like you I’m worried about what the injury to mark Andrews means and congratulations to the Orioles and their player development network and to Brandon Hyde and Mike Elias and John Angelo’s truly fantastic. We’re
Nestor J. Aparicio 07:46
in agreement. We love sports and sports are good for the city and we need stadium. We’re in agreement all that we’re in agreement that we’re gonna give them $600 million. Right? Like, so I there’s no haters here, you know, you know, like, we’ve got sports, right. Okay, so I had Neil DeMoss on last week, feel the scheme’s talking about giveaways that happen everywhere. But what’s more is going to exist John Angelos is gonna exist deep shot, he’s got the franchise’s. It’s just how much we’re gonna pay for it. How much
Tom Kelso 08:15
of what goes, What’s the taxpayer investment in this? And ultimately, what kind of return is the taxpayer get on having this, and we all agree is, is that being a major league city is critical to the image of Baltimore, it’s part of the social fabric of Baltimore, we love the teams we love, you know, wearing our black and orange or purple and black. You know, these are really important things to the city and we want them to stay. And that was, you know, part of the pitch to the legislature back in 2022. When we got the stadium bill, the $1.2 billion bill passed, was is trying to convince make sure that the legislature understood just how important these teams were to Baltimore. So it wasn’t an automatic Oh, you know, what other legislation to
Nestor J. Aparicio 09:05
take $1.2 billion and say, give it to two billionaire sports teams. There’s a lot of places that doesn’t fly a lot of places that a lot
Tom Kelso 09:12
of places and he took enormous criticism, and I took criticism for having advocated really are the arc of being the architect of the bill and advocating for the bill being the public face of the bill. But I still I was convinced then, you know, we convinced Governor Hogan we convinced the both houses of the Maryland legislature that
Nestor J. Aparicio 09:38
he wasn’t happy with this right like you bring Hogan $1.2 billion a Republican. He’s like, he’s thinking he’s running for President. Well, I do what we’re giving him. Why do they need 1.2 billion? I mean, I could see Larry Hogan burning up at that when you bring that to him as his appointee. He
Tom Kelso 09:55
liked the structure of the bill. He thought it was creative. He thought you know, we were accomplishing a lot of things, because there’s a lot of nuance in that bill, which we’ll cover, you know, maybe in December. But when he said, Well, how much are you thinking, and I told him 1.2 billion. I mean, he probably was close to falling out of the chair, and I’ll never forget the look on his face. Where, you know, it was probably 5050, whether he would just laugh or throw me out of the room. But we worked through it, you know, we explained to him how we had come to the number, you know, he was very analytical and critical. But, you know, at the end of the day, we were able to convince him that it really made sense. And we also were able to convince, you know, members of the leadership in the House and the Senate that this made sense. And, you know, when a bill passed, it, passed 131, I think, to 10 in the house, and 47, and nothing in the Senate. So we did a lot of convincing that this was the right thing to do. But the premise was is, is that we were never going to come back and ask for more money. And that the teams, they on their own, they had to convince the governor and that leadership of the House in the Senate, they were on board with this and that they weren’t going to come back and ask for more money. And if you go and you look at the testimony of Greg Bader on behalf of the Orioles, there was no hesitation in supporting the bill. And there was no inclination or mention of the fact that well, we like 600,600,000,000. But we want more if they just said that the bill would never have passed. So
Nestor J. Aparicio 11:37
Greg Boehner and to Cass went before the legislature and said, you know, like, like Oliver Twist holding out their hand saying 600 million more please, sir, here. And here’s why we need that that actually happened. Yes,
Tom Kelso 11:52
that both teams testified. But behind the scenes, you know, both teams work with their lobbyists in the legislature to convince the legislature that the teams were serious about this, and that if the bill passed is is that the teams would then do new leases or lease extensions that conformed with a bill. There was no mention of more money. And if anybody had mentioned more money, or a development agreement or anything else is is that the bills would not have passed. And I think that’s why the frustration today in the Maryland legislature because they see this and they’re going wait a minute, two years ago, you said you didn’t need more money, that this was the right amount. And I don’t blame them. Because it was represented to them that that the teams were both happy with it. And the Ravens had not asked for more obviously, they move forward. They did a a li a new lease, conform with the bill on improvements m&t Bank Stadium are planned and gonna get underway in January when the season’s over. And, but
Nestor J. Aparicio 13:00
doesn’t owe you this, this new thing sort of, like throw that into? That’s not really real anymore. That’s sort of the floor for them now, right? If Westmore is going to promise this MOU celebrate back in September, the Ravens will get more right. Like they don’t even have to ask for that they’re gonna get more we’re trying to figure out what that more is. Right?
Tom Kelso 13:24
Yes. The, you know, the ravens and the Oreo leases are both public documents, somebody you know, you can access them. I’m not exactly sure how, but I know they’re public documents. And if you read the parody clause in the Ravens lease, all they have to do is is to identify things in the Oreo lease that are better than what they got. And the stadium authority really doesn’t have much of a defense. I mean, it can try to contest it. But you really don’t have much of an offense. If the Orioles get 100 million more, then there’s no argument that the Ravens get 100 million more. If the Orioles get 300 million more, there’s no argument that the Ravens get 300 million,
Nestor J. Aparicio 14:03
give them the warehouse, how do you even value what that becomes?
Tom Kelso 14:07
You know, I can see that from a parody argument is is much harder to quantify. But you have to start quantifying and I think that, you know, when I saw the MOU that included this development agreement, you know, I set out to quantify what was the state giving away or giving to the Orioles? And what were they getting in return? So in other words from a business analytics, a finance analytics standpoint, as to how much value was the state giving to the Orioles? And what were they going to get in return? And the analysis is is that the warehouse, the Camden station and the parking lots that are east of the warehouse are worth about $50 billion. Okay. In addition to that is is that The stadium authority 50 billion with a B $50 million. Sorry,
Nestor J. Aparicio 15:05
go ahead, just getting it straight money
Tom Kelso 15:07
floating around here, it’s hard to remember millions and billions, thank God, we haven’t gotten to trillions yet. But the the, in addition to the $50 million, is the stadium authority, about four years ago issued $30 million of bonds to do upgrades to the warehouse, for the public spaces for the elevators, for a lot of the infrastructure, because it was needed to be done just like you would do for any office building. So there’s $50 million of value plus $30 million of debt that the state has to continue to service. And in exchange for that the state was going to get or is going to get $94 million, but over 99 years. And so when you work through what that stream of rent over 99 years is worth today, it’s worth about 15 to $17 million. So for $50 million of value plus $30 million of debt that the stadium authority will have still have to pay, they’re only going to get about 15 or $17 million of value in exchange for that. So you know, in my view, that’s highly problematic. And that’s why I think it’s so important in a great service that you’re doing is to allow somebody like me just to come on, and explain how much the Orioles would be receiving, and how little the state would be getting in return for that?
Nestor J. Aparicio 16:34
Well, you know, I hear the $300 million, and I hear the land. And I’ve been following this since the Colts left arm right. So like they get away with whatever they can get away with. Right, whatever they can ask for. I need to understand your role and saying no to John, in asking for these things under the Hogan administration. And then the notion that Westmore is going to give a papel blessing and say, we have a deal when even if this is the deal, and they shake hands at the end of the year and say we’ve got a lease or whatever they really don’t write, they still have to go back to Brooklyn and they still have to go back to the legislature, they there’s a lot of things that would have to happen to promise them any more money and a whole lot of lobbying that would have to be done. And people like me that would stand up and yell BS on this and get noisy about it. Right on a bad faith level that they agreed to it. And now they’re on agreeing that so Angelo, Sian to a guy who’s witnessed this for 30 years. But I’m trying to understand what the gut of the current Governor thinks he’s doing, what he’s going to do. Where Craig Thompson stands I’m, and I’m waiting for answers on their end, by the way, they’ve all been invited on. They’ve all agreed to come on. None of them have come on. And I want to understand this December 31. Deadline, what are we expecting to happen the next six weeks in regard to this MOU and the land? Like? What are they fighting about? Now, if they had a document that they were trying to get blessed two months ago? What what’s the holdup? And what’s the negotiation? And what would happen? If on December 31, at midnight, we don’t have a signed lease. I mean, Angeles can’t even put Tickets on sale for the baseball season, right? Because he didn’t have a stadium. So I’m thinking of really weird up at night, night sweats parts of this, as to note, Angeles has never agreed to anything with anybody ever. I’ve watched this for 30 years, like they can’t pick wallpaper. So to think that, like there’s really going to be a kumbaya by December 31, even if they say so, there’s still a whole lot of money that a lot of other people are going to have to be involved in, to pull off whatever they congratulated themselves for two months ago. Well,
Tom Kelso 18:52
one of the reasons Nestor that I always hated mo use, and I’m a former investment banker. So you know, I did hundreds of transactions between buyers and sellers. And we probably never had one MOU or letter of intent in any of those deals, because the most important thing is is the actual document, the contract the lease, whatever it is that you’re that’s the final document. And it does surprise me that you can have an MOU on September the 27th. But you can’t have a lease by November the 17th. Because the amount of work that should have gone into doing the MOU is certainly should have been the same work you could do for a lease. But you know, leases are very complicated. And leases within the state of Maryland or through the stadium authority are even more complicated. And then when you throw in more money, and some of these other aspects is as it brings the legislature back in. So for the Ravens lease, okay, we didn’t need to go back to the legislature because the lease was done On 100%, in conformity with the stadium funding bill, and we actually incorporated the terms of the stadium funding bill in the lease. So all we had to do was get MSA Board approval, and then we had to get Board of Public Works approval. So for the Orioles and then Governor more at this point in time, and they do have opportunities here between now and the end of the year, there’s a Board of Public Works meeting on November the 29th. There’s another Board of Public Works meeting on December the 13th. But after December 13, there is no more Board of Public Works meetings until January the fourth of 2024. So but in order to get there, you’re going to have to have stadium authority approval, you’re going to have to have Board of Public Works approval, and that’s just for the lease. If you’re asking for more money. If you’re asking for certain elements that have to do with restructuring the stadium authority, or certain elements that involve this development agreement, you may and probably will definitely for some of it, have to go back to the Maryland legislature. Because there is a statute, it’s Maryland law that governs the limits to the power of the Maryland stadium authority. It says what the stadium authority is required to do. And it says what the stadium authority may do. But it doesn’t allow for the governor or the stadium authority on their own to just modify the statute. The statute has to be modified by the legislature that created this statute to begin with. So so
Nestor J. Aparicio 21:38
whatever Angelo’s in West, Thompson, whatever they agreed to, it’s not really a deal at all, because the legislature still has to vote on Oh, you want to get rid of the Maryland stadium authority, like we’re gonna get all these votes that worked,
Tom Kelso 21:53
and I hope they have to vote on Yes. You don’t know that they have the floor. But I hope that they have to vote on the part that eliminates the role of the stadium authority. Because when they passed the stadium funding bill, the role of the authority was inherent in the bill. If anybody would have thought that a future governor would have wanted to eliminate the role of the authority, they wouldn’t have passed the bill, or they would have written into the bill that the stadium authority must, you know, maintain its current role, because nobody in the legislature and certainly not Governor Hogan would have ever have voted or approved of giving $600 million to each team and let them spend it the way they want. The whole concept. It’s an absurdity, right? Like, stadiums,
Nestor J. Aparicio 22:47
that’s an absurdity, right like that, that anybody in the legislature, Republican or Democrat would have just said, We’re gonna rip up the Maryland stadium authority, give Steve and John all the money and all the land and let them do whatever they want with it. Right? I mean, it’s the equivalent
Tom Kelso 23:05
Nestor of giving them all of the benefits of ownership, okay, without making them own the stadiums, right, so the state puts up the money, but they get to run the stadiums, like they own them. And that’s not the deal. The deal is, is that the taxpayers are putting up the money. And that and that the state is going to the MSA is going to have a role in how that money is spent, and how those stadiums are maintained. And without that, it’s like the teams owning the stadiums. And now in fairness, the Ravens never asked for any of this, okay. The Ravens organization was incredibly happy to live within the $600 million. So, you know, any largest that they get beyond that is is because the Orioles will have gotten more. But you know, it is an issue of good faith. And I think that’s why people are upset, because a lot of people, you know, voted for something that now they’re being told, Well, that wasn’t enough. And it’s hard to get people in the legislature and the governor to approve something that is giving money to stadiums, they’d rather be giving money to education, they’d rather be giving money to childcare, they’d rather be giving money to housing or you know, other transportation or other things that you know, also demand money in the state. So when you get the legislature to say we’re gonna give you this money, that that’s hard, and I think that there’s no question as is that they should feel retrained it here it would be the polite word.
Nestor J. Aparicio 24:44
I’m Tom Kelso is here. He is the former and unpaid Maryland stadium authority chairman and we have invited Craig Thompson on we’ve invited Governor Westmore on I have not invited Governor Larry Hogan on I feel like you have a better grasp of the information in regard to Maryland stadium authority over the last years and even he would have you and I are getting together on December the first we’re going to be doing the Maryland crabcake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery with window nation and our friends at Chaffey new multi care. I’m doing a lot of plays, you’re gonna be COCODES in the 29th. We’re going to be on the 35th at the BMA at gertrudes I’m really looking forward to that. crabcake with Dan Rodricks. But on the first Friday, the first we’re going to be at the Hollywood casino in Perryville. Tom’s gonna come up and we’re gonna spend a good two hours sort of soup to nuts trying to do stadiums for Dummies, you know, I don’t even know what else to call it. But there’s so much background here that I understand that I didn’t understand the public didn’t understand. I had a couple people call me like, we didn’t know you knew so much about this. I’m like, Well, I’ve been on the radio every day for 32 years. And their last name is Angelo’s, and they threw me out. So I am the only one who is sort of fine tooth coming this a little bit. But this is going to be louder than just Nesta or WPA L or the sun or the banner or whatever. If we go back the legislature, and we already have the Inner Harbor thing going on, which I talked about last week and development and the future of the city, when you sat with both of these franchises that it was, say the ownership families because that’s pretty much what it is. But Dick always represented Steve The Angelou says always represent the Angelou says when it’s not Bader, all of this land in the warehouse, I would think this is not the first time you heard that John Angeles wants the warehouse wants the land needs to keep up with Atlanta. Like I’m sure you heard all of that. At what point? Did we get to that 600 million number? And this part that you’re concerned about, which is this? Number seven, the development area and the master plan, which includes land? Why didn’t you give it to him? I mean, obviously, it’s clunky all the way around, if you’re going to be giving something to both of them, that is not fundamental to the stadium that allows them to do things above and beyond game day operations. And the citizens should drink in that if it’s this, if it’s our land and our tax dollars. What is alarmed you the most about this MOU? And the last? And what have you discovered in the last 60 days about what Wes Moore and his administration are trying to do for John that will then give to Steve, that you and no one else was willing to do prior to this? Well,
Tom Kelso 27:18
one of the labels that, you know, the governor’s press office used on the MOU came out and before the MOU even came out was this idea of transformational. And nothing is transformational just because you label it transformational. To make something transformational. It has to be done in a way that can be implemented after it’s agreed to the implementation can be done in such a way that it has a chance to actually succeed and ultimately be transformational. So when harborplace was built was, you know, conceived and built back in 1980 is is that it wasn’t transformational because somebody conceived it. It was transformational, because the way the Rouse Company designed it and built it and operated it. That’s ultimately what is transformational. And so this idea of developing all are parts of the Camden Yards sports complex that actually originated with the stadium authority, not because we automatically think it’s a great idea. But our job is is to continue to look at the state assets and say how can we make them more productive for the taxpayers. And so we’re willing to work with the teams. And actually the idea the master plan is something that we got the ravens to agree to in their lease, and the Orioles agree to that in the MOU. That’s great. What’s not great is is this handoff of the warehouse for 99 years when the Angelou says, and it doesn’t require that the owner of the team, they are Angela says can sell the team, but they get to keep the rights to the warehouse. And so crazy nine years, I mean, none of us, unfortunately are going to be here to see what happens in 99 years. But if you look at downtown Baltimore 99 years ago, is completely different than that. It’s gone through multiple transitions about every 1520 25 years. And so over 100 year period of time, there will be three or four different transitions of Baltimore City to lock the state into giving this warehouse that’s a critical part of the stadium complex to the Angelo’s family, and they can keep it as long as they want. And that just makes no sense to me. Our idea Nestor was is is that if there was going to be development on the complex, the stadium authority that is a developer, the stadium authority develop the entire complex, it’s the only developer that’s ever worked on the complex is is that if it was going to be development, we would do it in partnership with a team or teams. So that State had not only the downside, but the state had some upside benefit for having done it. So that if there’s a lot of profit to be made, why shouldn’t the taxpayers benefit from that? Why should just the Orioles benefit from that, or the Angelo’s family benefit from that? You know, so that’s a fundamental disagreement that I had. And so in all conversations I had with John was is is that your I tried to reason with him to explain that the state isn’t a printing press, that the state is actually taxpayers that have to pay taxes to fund the operations of the state and all the obligations of the state, and that the more money you take out of the general fund to give to the teams or the or to some other purpose, that’s more money that you have to ask the taxpayers to fund. And so trying to convince them that a partnership was the way to go. And he likes to talk about public park private partnerships, in his version of public private partnership is as the public puts up the money and the private makes the profit in my version of a public private partnership. It’s like any other partnership, both parties contribute assets, talent, knowledge and some money. And both partners benefit from that. And that’s why I think this MOU is so off track as it relates to the development of the warehouse. It’s giving it to the Angeles’s without the state getting any real material benefit from it. When you know, all the work we had done up to that point at the authority was to put ourselves in a partnership position with the Orioles.
Nestor J. Aparicio 31:44
Tom Kelso is the former Maryland stadium authority chairman, you’ve heard him here. If you’re into this segment, please go back and listen to the first 70 minutes from a couple of weeks ago, with lots of background, Tom and I are going to try to put this under one umbrella on December 1. I guess last thing for you in this piece of it is just the last eight weeks. And this notion that the governor is Walt Disney and is just going to bequeath this in an Oracle jersey. And it’s done. We got to lease it, we got we got to do we’re really far away from that if this is going to go into this kind of dispute, right? Not just because you’re going to be Prickly, and I’m certainly going to be prickly. And certain maybe people in the legislature, maybe maybe some other journalists would come forward, maybe other people would come forward and say why are we giving the Angelo’s family all of this land when they agreed to this other deal? Why are we voting on this? Why are we accepting this to get a lease so we can play baseball in April, when this has been kicked around for years and years and years? What happens on December 31? If there’s no lease, Tom?
Tom Kelso 32:54
Well, I think that there’s probably a lot of contingency planning around that going on. Because I think that there’s only a couple of things that can happen. One is is is that there’s a lease extension. The question would be is as if there is a lease extension, what’s the duration of the extension? Is it one year is that month, a month? You know, how would that lease extension be done? And is an extension of just the existing lease? Or do you you know, how all of the details around that I’m sure both parties or all parties are thinking about?
Nestor J. Aparicio 33:31
That’s a major league baseball get involved if they I mean, the Angelus has never been able to have kumbaya with anybody. So I’m not being a jerk. I’m just being honest. Like they Masson, the
Tom Kelso 33:41
well, that comes as part of this. Well, I
Nestor J. Aparicio 33:45
mean, what happens on January 10? If there’s no if everybody’s just throwing mud? Right.
Tom Kelso 33:50
So that comes to the second part of this? What happens if the stadium authority where the state refuses to give the Orioles a lease extension? Or the parties just can’t agree on it? Is that then the Orioles don’t have a lease? And so they don’t really? I’m not sure whether they have any rights as a tenant holding over? I’m not a lawyer. Or do they just not have a stadium in which they’re going to be able to play their season and under Major League Baseball, the only place they’re allowed to play is in Baltimore. So well, that’s
Nestor J. Aparicio 34:25
why I’m saying that at some point, Rob Manfred His phone’s gonna ring and not just about Las Vegas in Oakland, if this doesn’t it better ring. I mean, they can’t put their tickets on sale. I mean, I that part of it. It’s stunning to me, but it’s not given John, and I don’t think any of this. You’re one of the few people that spent a lot of time with John and can say, Is this reasonable? Is this unreasonable? John knows that this is sort of unreasonable. John knows it’s allegedly that West can’t just play Walt Disney and giveaway At the people’s buildings into people’s land, that there are checks and balances here, and that other people will be heard from. And I think that’s the shocking part for me that when they went through that machination and put on that show down at Camden Yards eight weeks ago, is that they’re still they can’t agree to anything, right? I mean, there’s there’s no way Westmore John Angeles can correct obstacle, go into a room and come out and just give him whatever he wants. It doesn’t work that way. Well,
Tom Kelso 35:29
you know, when I started speaking out publicly Nesta, which I can promise you was not easy. Because, you know, I’m just a private citizen, and nobody knows who I am. And I’m speaking against a very popular governor, and out against, you know, a very popular sports team. But I’m not trying to kill a deal. What I’m trying to do is is to put the facts out there so that, you know, the other policymakers, legislators can begin to focus this down on a really good lease, similar to what the Ravens have. So there’s nothing that prevents the Orioles from reassessing and from the governor from reassessing, and essentially having the Orioles agree to a version of the Ravens lease. At that point in time, they will have lived up to all of their prior commitments. We have a lease, the governor looks great, because he got to least on that was always my hope is is that the parties would drop back, reassess, and come up with you know, a very good stadium lease that didn’t include all these bells and whistles, including additional money and development agreement, etc. If the oils want to come back to the legislature in the spring or two years from now or five years from now, and ask for more. You know, that would be up to the Orioles at that point in time. But they don’t have to try to cram it all in at one time, which is what the governor and the Orioles are trying to do here is is let’s just get a good least on similar to the ravens, then we don’t have these parity issues. The Board of Public Works can approve it, the legislature doesn’t have to get involved in it. And everybody the population, Orioles fans, everybody are thrilled that the governor and the Orioles were able to reassess and come back and get a great least on that’s my hope Nestor and when we get together on December the first, I hope that that’s what they’re doing. And that all the rest of this stuff is, you know, stuff that could be talked about, you know, years down the road, but not right now.
Nestor J. Aparicio 37:36
I keep asking the question, what’s the idea? What’s the I mean, that’s the thing with brambles took a year and a half and studies and millions of dollars. But there’s an ideal you can you know, love it, hate it question it asked about transportation, whatever you want. But what’s the idea? And that’s, I’ll come back to you on December 1 with that because I’ve seen all these it I’ve been in Atlanta I’ve been to San Diego, I’ve been up to New England and I’ve been to North Side of Chicago. I mean, I’ve seen what they’re doing and other places and what they could do. And I’m also see failed things like in Denver where they tried to build lodo I mean, I don’t say Camden Yards is a failed project, the team on the field, failed the community for large stretches of three decades to sort of empty out downtown to not have the same potentiality that Fenway Park has had or St. Louis has had. Now we got a decent baseball team. For me that the live work play thing is the next part of this to say, what does the mature version of this thing look like at four o’clock on a Wednesday when the twins are in town? And why is it vibrant? And why did we invest in it? And how is it going to be like Atlanta? How is it going to? How is it going to generate something in 2035 and 2040, which should be everyone’s concerned for it that it’s not an empty space with an empty baseball team that sits empty all winter that we get together on a Thursday night then we don’t play at home again for a month. Billy Joel comes to town and the citizens don’t even make any money on it. But like that vibrancy that we’ve we’ve talked about that has to be a part of that live work play thing. Okay, live work like right? What is it, show me the plan, show me what you’re building that’s going to make all of us want to live work and play there?
Tom Kelso 39:15
Well, so there’s no way that the area around oil Oriole Park is ever going to be the equivalent of the battery unless the entire neighborhood or entire surrounding parts of Baltimore City are also activated. So having realized that is is that there’s nothing that can be just transformational by doing something on the Camden Yards complex. Whatever is done at Camden Yards has got to be part of a larger hole that really starts at the corner of rotten light with harborplace and David Bramble and all the great things that he’s envisioning. And it goes all the way down Pratt street all the way to the University of Maryland hospital, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, campus, professional schools, housing and all the people that live within walking distance of the stadium, as well as South of Baltimore’s, of m&t Bank Stadium, with the casino Top Golf, the paramount, and then north of m&t or Oriole Park, which is the Hippodrome and Lexington market and some of the other things in the arena
Nestor J. Aparicio 40:28
and CFG Bank Arena, too, which is because of the pub with something that was nothing two years ago, that’s now bringing people downtown three, four days a week. It’s a beautiful thing. Right.
Tom Kelso 40:38
So you know, John wants to has a very tight lens because he doesn’t make money on all the rest of that. His tight lens is just his part of Camden yard Sports Complex, right. But the MSA in its role, put together a group of interested parties that spanned everything from the bottom Baltimore City, Lexington market hippodrome David brambles development company, the University of Maryland, hospital, university renowned professional schools, the CEO there, and then all the caves, Valley people, the top golf people that casino, et cetera, we convened all of those people on February 1 of this year. And when we convinced the legislature about the 1.2 billion, this is that the way we presented it is, is that the stadiums have to be in perfect condition. They have to be these magnets that people want to live near, they want to come to, and that if you let those stadiums deteriorate, it doesn’t matter. Everything else that goes on around it is is that what happens in Camden Yards is is really important. But you can’t just look at Camden Yards itself and say this is transformational. It is a key component. But in and of itself. It is not transformational. And this is where it’s already there.
Nestor J. Aparicio 42:08
Nothing’s been transformed there. There. There was a game the other night people come they go, what’s going to make him stay. Let me that’s what’s the idea really, I go back to
Tom Kelso 42:17
but some people do live nearby, you just need more people living nearby, but you can’t have everybody living on a camera in your sports complex. It’s not big enough, and you need parking. So you know, it has to activate the entire area in that part of the west side of downtown Baltimore, and it has to rise with and help that area rise. You’ve got a lot of commercial office space that needs to be redeveloped. You’ve got the convention center that needs an enormous investment on itself that nobody talks about. And you’ve got a live where you work plan at University of Maryland hospital. You’ve got you know all the people who live and work at the professional schools, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and you’ve got all the entertainment that goes on south of m&t Bank Stadium, you need to tie all that together. And that’s where I think that this proposal in the MOU misses the larger picture.
Nestor J. Aparicio 43:15
Tom castle will join us on December 1 I’m gonna cut it off right here because I’m not going to go down another river that I don’t want to go down but we are going to do what stadiums for Dummies the Maryland stadium authority. Certainly no dummy former chairman Tom Kelso here I have reached Craig Thompson. I have reached a governor Westmore. Governor Westmore has responded to me every time I’ve ever reached him. I want to say that. I wouldn’t say he’s running away from me, but he’s certainly not running toward me at this point, until they have some sort of an agreement. So I’m waiting. I’m waiting by the phone so to speak. Not really, I’m just having crabcakes we’re gonna be out doing the Maryland crab cake Tour presented by the Maryland lottery. We’re gonna go from Raven scratch offs to the scented variety of gingerbread and peppermint at some point here in the coming days and weeks. We were at faint Lee’s last week. We were Costas last week. We’re going to be a Pappas, right before Thanksgiving on Tuesday. And then after Thanksgiving Coco’s the Walter excuse me the BMA not though I’m gonna go to Walter said one day two but the PMA I get all my art confused. You know, it’s an add John Waters on earlier this month too. So I’m in good shape. And then this guy Tom Council is going to join us up in Hollywood casino in Perryville. On December the first we’re going to be at state fair on the fifth. We’re going to be at father and daughter on the 15th that we’re going to be back to end the year and and almost a couple 100 years it likes in the market. December 28 29th. We’re going to be doing our final show from the old families and the old Lexington market before they move into the new Lexington market. And I will shed a tear and I will not eat a deviled egg though we’ve learned that already this week. Thank you, Tom, for coming on. Thank you for
Tom Kelso 44:50
giving and I look forward to seeing you in December.
Nestor J. Aparicio 44:54
Oh, I’ll have questions for you sir. You know that I think you realize that Tom Kelso former Maryland State stadium authority Chairman joining us here on paid I still get I’m sort of unpaid doing this but I but it’s a labor of love what I do and mine was a labor of love as well so and I can tell that and I I just hope every unpaid person who runs something significant giving away hundreds of millions of dollars of our money for the greater good has the same passion that the and then knowledge and expertise real expertise about this because oftentimes I wonder does that person even know what they’re doing? Man The deeper I go into this with you? It’s very, very clear you took this position seriously. You’re taking your role as being a person that wants to shed light on truth. And I am as as a citizen who didn’t pay you because you weren’t making any money. Appreciate it, Tom. So thanks for coming on.
Tom Kelso 45:49
Hey, thank you have a great day today. All
Nestor J. Aparicio 45:50
right, girl, so yeah, man, everybody get out there. Looks good to be in ravens camp. We had a little bit of downtime with the Ravens. I’m going to be talking stadium we’re gonna be talking with the Orioles and offseason free agency and hot stove and winter meetings and the A’s moving to Las Vegas and what that means and lots lots more I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive