Follow the money. Wait for the real ink on the lease – not the words of a man who lies regularly. Former Maryland Stadium Authority chairman Tom Kelso joins Nestor for a long-awaited, deep dive on everything about the $1.2 billion of your money that Steve Bisciotti and the Angelos Family are getting to keep their sports franchises in Baltimore. Ask someone who knows all the answers and you get them. Listen and learn. It’s important!
stadium, years, orioles, ravens, authority, maryland, camden yards, lease, money, people, john, team, put, governor, tom, work, kelso, m&t bank stadium, state, built
Tom Kelso, Nestor Aparicio
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
Welcome back wn s t test Baltimore. Baltimore positive we are taking the Maryland crabcakes we’re back out on the road I swear it’s going to happen after Halloween. I shut it down thinking we’d be playing World Series games at Camden Yards this week but alas we’re going to make things happen so for the month of Turkey and and mistletoe will and Mariah Carey will be resurrecting the Maryland crab cakes represented by our friends at the Maryland lottery have rabid scratch offs to give away. We’re gonna be everywhere. I’m gonna have Governor Westmore in Annapolis later on in the month. Brandon Scott’s allegedly joining me over Coco’s where they just won a big award with the FM station that I listened to we are playing to classic rock also our friends are winter nation 8669 D nation you buy to you get to free for five years 0% financing, and our newest sponsor for the crabcake tour Jiffy Lube MultiCare. Big shout out to all them changing my oil over at Merritt Boulevard Dundalk, although there’s a Jiffy Lube in your neighborhood as well. I’ve really been looking forward to this piece. Anybody who follows me on social media knows I went out to the West Coast I went to see my mother’s hometown and cried a lot. A lot of southern food mac and cheese got fat, and indigestion rock was Sammy Hagar and YouTube and all that. But before I went away, I set up this appointment. I don’t know Tom Kelso. Well, I think I’ve met him once or twice a year and again, because he was the Maryland stadium authority chairman. For eight years during the Hogan administration. Of course, I’ve had larry hogan on I’ll have West moron. I’m not a political. Anybody that follows me knows my politics, but I am a concerned citizen and all the nonsense with the shotty throwing me out and Angelo’s throwing me out and me exploring my legal rights as a journalist to work in aid. My rights work in a state facility led me to the current Maryland stadium authority this year, but certainly in the administration change. And Hogan goes out Westmore comes in. We have a lease for the football team. We don’t have a lease for the baseball team. I’ve been diving in for nine months. John Angelo’s Who Is it confirmed liar, promised open his books earlier this year to Dan Connolly. I’m still threatened and thrown out. They threatened my employee in Arlington, Texas three weeks ago to not have clubhouse access because he had the audacity to show up with me. So you know when when it comes to this i I just want a good deal for our citizens. I want the baseball team and football team to be in good hands. I want them to win and they both have won this year, which is this is a good time to be talking about giving $1.2 billion of all of our money to the city and we’re gonna have David Bramble on soon talking about harborplace But Tom Kelso has agreed to come on. I wish it were over crabcake but it is over some delicious world farms coffee and my coal roofing mug. Tom, first things first a thank you. I’ve seen you speak out in the banner and in the Baltimore Sun and I the first question I had is who is Tom Cal so I know I’m shaking your hand and a Mako event are here and again. And I know you’ve been a concerned citizen and the people that I know who know you said to me, but Tom on he’s gonna be honest with you, he’s gonna shoot straight. He’s an honest guy. And I’m like, good, because I haven’t had a lot of that around sports and around 33 years of doing this. So welcome, and thanks for making time for me today.
Tom Kelso 03:16
Well, Nestor, thank you, I really appreciate the opportunity to be here today and to, you know, try to shed some light on what is actually contained within this memorandum of understanding that was signed back on September the 27th.
Nestor Aparicio 03:35
That’s not a lease, right.
Tom Kelso 03:37
It’s definitely not a lease, a memorandum of understanding or a letter of intent, you know, are basically just that they express intent. But they’re not legally binding, they’re just essentially a handshake. And then from there, you know, you still have to work through all the details and a legal agreement that ultimately becomes the lease. And we work with the ravens to have built negotiate their new agreement. We didn’t bother with any type of Memorandum of robbing, understanding or letter of intent. We just went right to the negotiation of the lease. And so for example, we started sometime around early September of 2022. And it was approved by the Board of Public Works on January the fourth of 2023. So just about four months, it took us to actually negotiate the lease, and to get all the approvals necessary from the NFL, the NFL Finance Committee, NFL owners, the Maryland stadium Authority Board, and then the Board of Public Works so you can do a lot if you’re really focused on getting it done.
Nestor Aparicio 04:54
Well, from my perspective, I see your name and I see you being um Be honest, somebody said, uppity or why is he getting involved or he’s the old guy or this is Hogan versus more this is Republicans versus Democrats or whatever this would be, or you might have some issue with Angelo’s that you didn’t have with, with the cast and with Steve shoddy, but first things first, the first question I had is Who’s Tom Kelso? And I, you know, I, I know enough. We’re, we’re already LinkedIn. So I mean, I go and I check and I see Oh, ran Huggins. Committee, eight, nine years ago now not half years ago now. But prior to that you ran Sean Carroll School, your Harford County resident. You ran a a petroleum company, right, or petroleum distributor many, many years ago. But like, how did you get into the stadium authority thing? Are you like an oil season ticket holder at or theologically Correct. Hatton was at the Cal Ripken game. I mean, because you’re like a local guy. And I don’t know you well. But the first thing I see when I see somebody really speaking on being courageous about our billion dollars of our money, and the future of our city, as a Baltimore positive guy, like, first thing is, why are you involved in all this? How did you get involved with a nice guy like you doing in a place like this?
Tom Kelso 06:14
Nestor I think that’s a great question. It’s probably more by accident than anything else. But Larry Hogan and I became friends back in 2011. And at that time, he was not thinking of running for office, we’re just friends. And as I remember, when our rapper told me, I was a sponsored a friend, I was like, Larry Hogan is gonna be next government. Like,
Nestor Aparicio 06:37
I don’t know him. I don’t I didn’t know that we all knew him the day he was elected. So congratulations to you for I mean, that’s not an easy thing to do to get Republican elected in primarily blues. I mean, you know, for what you guys did, was an amazing, kind of run the last eight years, it really was.
Tom Kelso 06:54
Well, it’s really what he did. And I’m not terribly political. So um, when he asked me to chair his reelection campaign, I just basically told him governor, I’m not the right person. And he said, Well, I think you are. And he said, You’ll figure it out. And I did, I’m more of a doer, a problem solver. An organization builder, you know, the kind of person that you know, takes a task and figures out, you know, how to get it done. And I always feel like the more difficult that task is, the more challenged I am, and the more effort I put into it. And I’m always happy when something turns out successful. So when he became governor in 2015, he asked me if I wanted to be involved in any of the appointed positions. And I told him that I was really intrigued by the Maryland stadium authority, not because of the sports aspects or the stadiums, but because the stadium authority had just been tasked with building 30 new schools for Baltimore City. And I am I don’t even
Nestor Aparicio 08:08
know this right. Like, I don’t not sure I know this, Tom, really,
Tom Kelso 08:12
most people don’t know what a phenomenal organization, the Maryland stadium authority is. It’s kind of hard to get your arms around. But, you know, part of the Maryland stadium authority is focused on why the purpose for which it was originally formed, which is to own and to operate and maintain the Camden Yards sports complex. But the other part of the Maryland stadium authority provides offsite construction management, expertise to cities, towns, counties, all across the state of Maryland. So was it
Nestor Aparicio 08:47
envisioned that way, whatever Belle grab was involved in John Moe before the Ravens were even here, really before the complex was funded and built in, you know, 8889 90 when they were basically building the baseball stadium as we know it now?
Tom Kelso 09:02
Yes. Well, the first offsite project that the stadium authority ever did was the Hippodrome theater. And that is when John Brown was chairman of the authority
Nestor Aparicio 09:13
that was after Mogan turn of the century. turn of the century. Yeah.
Tom Kelso 09:17
Yes, turn of the century. And then it just kind of built from there, spiraled from there, building the, you know, second portion of the Baltimore City Convention Center. And then building some of the minor league baseball stadiums. projects all across the state, the Ocean City Convention Center, Montgomery County Convention Center. You know, we’re out in Western Maryland, or I say where it’s hard to once you’re part of the Maryland stadium authority. It’s hard to be an outsider again, but this authority is on the eastern shore. It’s in Western Maryland. It’s in Prince George’s County, with construction projects and of course, Baltimore City, and it also issues all of the state schools bonds, and then allocates that money out to all of the individual counties. And is available if those counties want to hire the MSA to construct schools and their counties, the MSA is able to do that as well. So it has a broad reach, and an enormous impact on citizens all across Maryland. The beautiful thing is, is is that very few people know this. And as I always said to the incredible team at the MSA is is that you’re really known by the work you do not by the name that you are go by. And you know, people are very proud of that, that they’ve just do phenomenal work for the taxpayers of Maryland and citizens of Maryland. And they take great, great pride in the fact that nobody really knows that it’s the stadium authority that’s doing all this work,
Nestor Aparicio 10:58
to basically you ask for the gig, you want the gig, he needed to sign somebody from his team. He signed you for eight years, you did this in 15. It’s more about building schools and being a do gooder. And, you know, saying, Hey, we did the Hippodrome, we can do this and Convention Center. But the stadium thing was there all along. Right. So back, when did cashiers talk to me 10 times a year, I saw for 15 years to cast an eye, I sat in his office, and we would talk about all these things. And I remember him 10 years ago, saying, you know, the lease is up in 2027, or, you know, whatever the year was 23 or what not 120 Here’s a 30 year lease right there.
Tom Kelso 11:35
But it was up in 2027.
Nestor Aparicio 11:37
So 27 years, so but
Tom Kelso 11:41
Nestor Aparicio 11:42
There were six years apart, because in 92 and 98 There was a parity clause in there all along. I don’t know that when the thing was built 92 that we knew we were getting a football team but knew we would have to have terminology space, the parking lot where I met art modell and, and the governor at that time of Glendenning in the parking lot that became the stadium like all of that was under this umbrella of John Moe get stadium authority, then John Brown. I’ll be honest with you, Tom, I mean, I’ve done sports radio every day in my life for the last 32 years in this city and walk the streets. I don’t know that I ever thought much about the Maryland stadium authority at any point, or that you were seeking publicity in some way. Terry Haseltine, seeking publicity for what he does, but this this work, that like I never, you folks never came to me and said, Hey, we’re doing the school, let’s talk about it. So and maybe wasn’t doing that kind of work back then. But I don’t know that any of it came to me either. And I mean, obviously, the Oriole situation is its own animal. But Dick Cass would bring it up with me that because Steve put money into Escalade, all the things that David would sit in my office, and that’s going to be Steve’s problem. That’s going to be the net, because we’re not we got the stadium built, you want better TVs you want better sound you want, you know, different club, that’s all going to be and Steve invested in all of that. And Steve took credit for saying I’m putting my money in and through the course of time for all the improvements. And I remember what it is like they have a bigger scoreboard in Dallas, we have to have a bigger screen, you know, like I I got all of that from the Ravens perspective and how they could fund it through my money and my PSLs and all of that. But it’s been very quiet on the baseball side, right? I mean, other than the left field wall moving a couple of years ago, and that happened during your term. I have been nobody else is going to the nobody asks what’s going on? Like what what is the least situation. And I’ve seen Peter go into failing health. I’ve seen John sort of takeover. I’ve seen John and Lou all the legal papers. I mean, every citizen should have seen this stuff, right. And now there’s a $600 million. It’s being offered than that. I’m assuming you offered last year when you were sitting in the seat. Give me the lowdown on the last 24 months of your exit. And your attempt to hand this to Wes, and say stadiums are done. We took care of all of this. We got all of this money It took four months to get. Here it is here’s the future. Here’s the plot.
Tom Kelso 14:15
All right. You said a ton. So let me unpack some. Let’s go. So back in 2015. You know, I knew that if Larry Hogan was re elected in 2018, and that if I didn’t screw something up and I was still chairman of the authority after 2018 is is that we were going to have to confront an Oriole lease. So Mike friends who is still the executive director of the stadium authority, and I started meeting with Peter Angelos back in 2015. And we would I would try to begin to break the ice on a discussion about a new lease. And at the end of every meeting he would say to me, Well, why would I want to do that? And I would think to myself, while I just explained it to you, but we would have great conversations, and I would leave, we would leave. And about every 120 days, we’d go back, and we just keep bringing it up. At the same time, we made the decision to begin to try to build a relationship with John and Lewis, on the belief that we didn’t know ultimately what would happen if Peter, you know, wanted to sell the team, or if Peter were to become incapacitated in some way as to who would be running the team. And so over the course of from 2015, until I left in March of 2023, I had almost 200 meetings or telephone calls with members of the Angelo’s family. And while Mike participated in some of them, the vast majority of those were me and John, and John and I have a good relationship on up until I mean, I still think of John as a friend. You know, our families know, each our wives know one another, we’ve done things together. We just agree to disagree on the the extent to which the state is being asked to support funding for an additional lease, or a new lease. But we also knew is is that we needed funding. So we concede that the stadium authority, what I refer to is House Bill 896 of 2022, which is the $1.2 billion package of money that’s available 600 million for each team. And that
Nestor Aparicio 16:46
is an arbitrary number, right? Well, why was that number picked?
Tom Kelso 16:50
But it’s an interesting question. The Orioles had actually hired a firm by the name of Gensler to look at some options within the stadium and things that we might be able to improve or change that improve fan amenities, but also were some infrastructure things, some systems, things that needed to be done, as you extend the useful life of the stadium. And when we costed it out, it was about $600 million. And so when we went and pitched Governor Hogan, he said, Well, how much are you talking about here? He said, I love the idea of the bill, but what are you talking about? And we said 600 million for each team. And that’s where the $1.2 billion came from, initially,
Nestor Aparicio 17:35
which is twice as much as either stadium ever costs. Oh, it’s
Tom Kelso 17:38
way more than a stadium cost. And it’s also by the way, Nestor and I think this is important for people to understand is is that if you look at what other teams are getting today, in other cities, is is that $600 million for an existing stadium is far and away greater than what other teams and other cities are getting. So for example, Oakland is trying to move their baseball team or the Oakland A’s are trying to move to Las Vegas, you know, Clark County came up with $385 million for a new stadium. That means is that the A’s have to pay anything over and above that, in Milwaukee where they’ve got a stadium newer than Camden Yards, that’s in terrible condition is is that they’re getting $500 million. And anything over and above that has to be paid by the team. So when we pitch the Asheville by
Nestor Aparicio 18:31
the way, also, it’s a titan steel, because I want to bring Nashville link, because everybody asked about that. And I’ve talked to a lot of folks. I mean, wow, one on a Cumberland County and the city of Nashville in the state of Tennessee, to fund a football stadium. That’s going to be where Taylor Swift does residencies right and where where they’re gonna
Tom Kelso 18:50
stand is is that the stadium that the Titans are that the Titan is playing today? Okay, it was built after m&t Bank Stadium, but it was built so poorly and it was maintained so poorly is that the stadium is is essentially obsolete. And so it needs to be torn down. And another another one we $2 billion dollars or whatever it is needs to be spent. And our goal at the stadium authority with this bill was to not just give the teams the flexibility to have the fan of things that the fans desire that brings fans out to stadiums, but was also to extend the useful life of the stadiums out in the future as long as we possibly could. There’s no reason Oriole Park doesn’t last 100 years if it’s maintained properly. There’s no reason that m&t Bank Stadium doesn’t last 50 or 60 years if it’s been propped, maintained properly, but if you don’t maintain these things properly is is that you end up having to rebuild them or build new and that’s a lot more expensive than the money that the legislature allocated
Nestor Aparicio 19:58
and I’ve done this the last 40 years. hockey rinks basketball rink stadia, I’ve been in every single one of them. And I take great pride in that I put a lot of effort into that, a lot of my life into that. And I’ve seen I was in Arlington three weeks ago, they got a baseball stadium next to the baseball stadium next to the football, like, and it used to be
Tom Kelso 20:16
a team that’s there now, or the baseball stadium that was just replaced was built after Camden Yards was built. So you know, this is just reflective of the way that the Maryland stadium authority has maintained these stadiums for 30 odd years with the baseball stadium and close to 25 years with the football stadium. They’re in tip top condition, because the Maryland stadium authority focuses on the infrastructure and the things that extend the useful lives of those stadiums. While the teams are focused on the fan amenity, thanks, right. It’s a great partnership that way.
Nestor Aparicio 20:51
All right. So you are on to under meetings with the Angelo’s family this time last year? I don’t know if you’re hopeful that you’re like, Were you really thinking by Christmas of last year, Wes had been elected, the Larry had six, eight months to kind of exit out you had your exit as well thinking, Well, what if I want to talk to you a year and a half ago and said in April? Are these both gonna get done? By the time Governor Hogan exits? And like, you had to believe that right, you put your this is, this was the most important thing, you did a lot of things, but I’m sure it was the most important thing on your agenda is to walk out and say, to leases next 30 years, Tom kelser serve the citizens, right?
Tom Kelso 21:34
Um, well, I mean, that would have been ideal. But you know, if you look at the stadium authority, and the history of the authority is, is that it’s really a continuum from one governor to the next from the legislature to the next, but also from one chairman to the next. And so all of my seven predecessors and I are all pretty close. You know, we’re different ages where different life experiences, but because we’ve all served in that role. And we’ve all worked over the years to help build the authorities reputation, and to continue the great work is is that we look at it as as it were just handing the baton from one group to the next there shouldn’t be a change in focus because administration’s change. And, you know, my expectation was, is that while I would love to have gotten an Oreo fleece done is is that my hope was is that we had set it up in such a way is that the next administration, the next chairman, could just carry forward and finish it off. And, you know, I think this is an important thing, at least is for me is is that if I had questions of my predecessors, I went to them and they helped me. They offered advice. And if I’d have been asked for advice, and and I’d been asked for help, or if I’d been asked for background and any of those 200 conversations, I would have freely have given it to Governor more into my room than the next chairman,
Nestor Aparicio 23:01
Governor Moore’s group as asked you what these 200 conversations
Tom Kelso 23:07
never led to? Never. I’ve never spoken to Governor more about the background on the Orioles negotiations, discussions. None of it. He’s never he’s never asked me about it. Greg Thompson and I sat down for maybe two hours. And we talked a little bit about it, but we never really gotten any details because he didn’t by that time, he didn’t have a lot of background. So I offered my help I continue to offer my help. All I want is as a good lease that we can all be proud of and comfortable that the citizens of Maryland are not being taken advantage of. And you know, that’s really important to me, that’s always been my goal is is to have something that meets the needs. But you know, isn’t so overly generous is is that the taxpayers can’t get any return on the money that they’re investing.
Nestor Aparicio 24:05
If you just joined us we are chatting with Tom Kelso. He’s the former chairman of the Maryland stadium authority under the governorship of Larry Hogan. For eight years from 2015 through the end of last year. Mr. Kelso was spoken out in the banner in the sun and other places, and I wanted to sit I owe your crabcake at the very least I gotta get up the Pappas Yeah, we’ll have to do that. Yeah, so let’s focus on the Ravens. Okay, let’s just because that’s the deal you got done. I don’t think there’s any secrets in this right. I have not seen it. No one
Tom Kelso 24:38
knows secrets. It’s a public document. Right. Right. Okay. So
Nestor Aparicio 24:41
let’s go then. I didn’t read it. You know, who else hasn’t read it? Nobody’s read it. You know, I’ve never seen anybody write about it or talk about it or opine about it. What have we as citizens given Steve shoddy in the $600 million over the next 15 years? Well, yeah, I don’t even understand the terms of all of it. So let’s start. Because the Orioles don’t have a lease we start when we’ll get to all of that in a little bit. But I want to understand what we’ve given the ranges?
Tom Kelso 25:08
Sure. Well, that’s a phenomenal question. So when we conceived of House Bill 896, this is the funding bill, it actually has some mechanisms in it that make it evergreen. So the way that it works is, is that each team can have bonds outstanding for work in their stadiums, that is up to $600 million at any one point in time. But as those bonds are paid down, is, is that the stadium authority can issue new bonds to continue to reinvest in the stadiums, the only hook is, is is that every time bonds are issued, is that the lease has to be extended to be at least as long as the longest outstanding bond. And so essentially, is, is that because the teams want to continually upgrade the stadiums, so that they have for Fan amenities is is that what happens is is is that as they continue to do that, we continue to extend the leases. And so the work that’s being done at m&t Bank Stadium starting in January of this year, or January of next year, as soon as the season’s over, and hopefully the seasons, not over too soon, is is that that money is money that’s issued by the stadium authority. The bonds are paid off by money coming from the Maryland lottery. And so because one of the biggest problems is, is that you don’t want to issue 30 year bonds for investments in stadiums that are going to last 10 or 15 years, because the problem is is that they were out in 10 or 15 years, and you need to spend more, but you’re still paying on the outstanding debt. And so
Nestor Aparicio 26:54
more than 30 years into this, you’ve learned this. Exactly, and your seven Maryland stadium authority Chairman, that you learn that point of sale changes, they put a red cable television in there for home team sports, and the Internet came like, I remember sitting at the stadium and I couldn’t get online, I couldn’t do my job and the upper deck, right, like
Tom Kelso 27:14
the latest improvement to the stadium for a club or you know, a venue or something within outside the stadium, you might have a great arc of 510 15 years, but 30 years is probably too long. And so when we designed House Bill 896, we wanted to be able to do it in a way we could match the maturities of the bonds to the investments that were actually being made in the stadium, so that we were never paying for things that were no longer useful. And so it automatically extends itself as new bonds are issued. And so it’s evergreen in nature. It’s a great partnership between the MSA and the Ravens, as we continue to work together to keep our stadium in great condition to make it as fan friendly as we possibly can. And, and then to continue to extend leases. So right now we’ve extended the lease for from 2037. But the expectation is, is it’ll just continue to extend as we issue new debt. So, you know, we think we’ve accomplished a lot of things when we design that bill.
Nestor Aparicio 28:24
Well, and I guess in Steve’s words, and whether he’s here in 2037, or he sells the team two weeks from Monday, I don’t know. But if he’s here or not here, his thought is, it’s gonna make it harder for somebody else to move the team that he won’t own the team in 2037. He’s a smart guy, you know, he knows we’re all temporary here. But the franchise itself, as long as the the owners tied to the state and the stadium authority and getting this money, it remains very attractive for the Baltimore Ravens to remain involved.
Tom Kelso 28:57
Nestor use just said something that is so really important is this the only thing permanent on the Camden yard Sports Complex is is the MSA in the state of Maryland, is is that the team owners will come and go.
Nestor Aparicio 29:09
And so no, it doesn’t feel that way. Because we don’t
Tom Kelso 29:13
necessarily want them to go. Right. But the point is, is is that we know that ownership will change hands at some point in the future. We know that governors have an eight year for eight year term. We know that Chairman of the authority will come and go. But that relationship that’s locked in in the Ravens agreement, okay, it’s good. It doesn’t matter who the owner is, right? It requires the owner to do certain things, and it requires the stadium authority to do certain things. But the expectation is is that it continues to be extended over time. And so that’s really an important an important aspect here and I was reminded by some members of the stadium authority team as we were negotiating with the ravens and never certain things they wanted But I was inclined to agree with them on. And I was my opinion was changed, because it was made clear to me is that as much as we like Steve Ashati, and the team of people that he has running the running the stadium, and the people we work with day in and day out, we can’t rely on the fact that they’re going to be there forever. We’re going to be here forever. And we have to work with whoever whoever the owner is, and whatever group of people that he brings in to, to run the team.
Nestor Aparicio 30:30
What do people need to know about the parity clause between these two teams because it was very weird and uncomfortable. And look, Peter made life uncomfortable for lots and lots of people, including me and all my listenership. During that period of time, especially when he was feisty, and wanting the Redskins and wanting his own team and wanting to keep the Ravens out and wanting to keep Washington out. He like it was just one giant fistfights that George Steinbrenner. I mean, I’ve written a book on it, the Peter principles, go read it. But I mean, I live through all of this, I’m getting I get out. I’m an older guy now. But I lived through all of this. And I remember just the angst I remember art modell and his wife telling me that you know about bad experiences and about bad vibes, bad feelings, and like all of that, because there was this parody clause. And the minute the purple thing showed up down there. All of a sudden, Camden Yards wasn’t the prettiest thing or the newest thing anymore. And that parody clause was something I’ve talked about a lot. It’s also something he put in the massive deal with the Nationals, as far as media writes that 17 years later, the learner family still looking for their money. But the parody clause was something that was a safety net, I think, drawn up by John Mogan, that era to say, nobody’s gonna get preferential treatment, but the orange did have a preferential treatment because they were sort of their first right, well,
Tom Kelso 31:49
but it actually goes back further. So if you remember Larry Lucchino, sure, um, who negotiated the original lease for first Edward Bennett, Williams, and then Eli Jacobs. The first lease is, is that he insisted on a Don’t make me a full clause. So what he wanted to be sure was is is that the Orioles got benefit of anything that the state was willing to do to acquire or bring a football team to Baltimore. So if the football team got a better deal, to move here, then the Orioles got to locate into Camden Yards. Then Larry Lucchino wanted to be sure that the Orioles got benefit of that. And so it wasn’t long after that, that Eli Jacobs went bankrupt. And Peter Angelos bought the team. And so he inherited the parity clause. And so when the Browns moved to Baltimore, and became the ravens and m&t Bank Stadium was built, you know, Peter made claims under the parody clause. And so that is, you know, the initial way that the parody clause worked, of course, the Ravens wanted a parody clause, both teams have a parody clause. Now, I call the parody clause almost a race to the bottom, because what happens is is is that if you give one team something different, better than what the other team gets, then the other team automatically gets benefit of that. So what happens is is is that if there are worse things in one lease than the other, the other team isn’t stuck with the worst. It’s stuck with what it already has. But if there’s something better that the other team gets, they that the other team gets the benefit of the parity clause. So if you give John Angelos $100 million, more than the 600 million or $300 million more, and I hear both things, is is that the Ravens will get $100 million more or 300? Oh, yeah,
Nestor Aparicio 34:00
I have people saying to me, shot is gonna be the happiest guy in the world Angeles just doing all the fighting to get him money, because anything, anything West more gives to, to the Angeles family, the shotty family and or whoever the next owner is going to want that correct.
Tom Kelso 34:14
Well, well, that’s exactly right. Although let me say this as is that, um, you know, I didn’t work a lot with Steve but I work a lot with dig casts, and I work someone Sashi Brown, phenomenal people. They’re very concerned about the public perception of what they get, and the way they’re portrayed. So,
Nestor Aparicio 34:33
you know, I don’t think it’s ever really been reported what they got, like really in real terms of sitting down and saying, so please tell me what, what did they get?
Tom Kelso 34:44
Well, they get the full benefit of House Bill 896. They get to have the stadium authority issue up to $600 million of bonds
Nestor Aparicio 34:52
that they can use in any way they want, correct?
Tom Kelso 34:55
Well, not anyway they want but it’s in conjunction with the stadium authority. So while we’re I, while the stadium authority is receptive to, you know, the things that are really important from the fan experience standpoint, that the ravens are really important to the Ravens while we’re doing that work, we wanted to be sure that the infrastructure to the stadium could also be upgraded simultaneously. That’s what extends the useful life. And that’s why the stadiums are in such great condition. So it’s really a partnership. So the Ravens can’t do anything they want with the money because it’s in partnership with the stadium authority. Now what the Orioles are in the MOU, the Orioles the MSA, will go away the MSA
Nestor Aparicio 35:39
MOU you’re giving me you’re giving me a new one MOU,
Tom Kelso 35:42
the memorandum of understanding. Got it. Okay. Governor Moore and John Angelo’s under that is is that the Orioles will get unfettered access to the $600 million. And any other money that they get? They’ll be able to spend it the way that they want. There won’t be any MSA partnership, oversight. No oversight, no oversight, no procurement. And so anything that a stadium authority does is is that we have to run procurements in order to get the highest and best bid, or lowest and best bid.
Nestor Aparicio 36:16
They’re not giving deals to their buddies with the state’s money. They absolutely
Tom Kelso 36:20
could, right. And they could, you know, set up their own construction management entity and siphon off some of the money as profit into that. It’s it’s just an open book. And then so the stadium Authority Board would have no authority over it. And the Board of Public Works in Annapolis that oversees all state spending, okay. above a certain amount, they would have no further oversight as to how that money was spent.
Nestor Aparicio 36:47
How’s that impossible? That because the minute that happens, doesn’t Steve and Sashi brown come back and say no, no, no, no, we get that now.
Tom Kelso 36:56
Well, they could do that. And whether they actually do it or they don’t, is that it creates a liability for the state of Maryland. Because even if the existing owner says I’m not going to ask because I’d be embarrassed to ask for that. Is that doesn’t prevent the future owner from saying I want that. So it creates an open ended liability for the state of Maryland, under this parody clause
Nestor Aparicio 37:20
to the next guy could ask for it correct. And literally demand the next guy will ask for it. So contraband did not ask for it. He could demand it right demand.
Tom Kelso 37:29
I mean, you don’t have to demand you ask and you get right. I mean it. There is no defense for the state. When somebody requests parody, I mean, it’s clear, it’s not equal. The court would award it and it’s a done deal.
Nestor Aparicio 37:45
Tom Kelso is our guest. He’s the former head of the Maryland State. I knew I was gonna get agitated during this time. And that’s probably why I needed a crabcake. And, you know, like iced tea or something up in Hartford, to agitate you. Well, just as a citizen as a journalist. You know, you and I have had very different experiences with Sashi. Brown specifically. I’m certainly John Angelos as well. But let’s go back to the Ravens lease, because I mean, you you wrote this, you got this sign you agreed to this with Sasha and Dick. I guess stick was a big part of before he left the year, year and a half ago. Steve still wherever he is, and nobody Chad Steele and Sashi Brown went down and Apple shook hands with you took a picture refuse to talk to anybody went away. It was Christmas time. They’re playing playoff games. I haven’t heard anything about it nine months but the Oriole thing certainly has been kicked up and the current governor who’s gonna be on the program in a couple of weeks in Annapolis. Or your shirt flying the flag in the stadium. John Angelos is there there’s a thing on TV Tom, I talk to people every day who think the least is done and because the Orioles have that magic power of Masson and you know, whatever they tell Kevin Brown to say he has to say obviously that’s one of the reasons I don’t get in. But there’s there isn’t a lease this is open ended. It’s kind of combustible, right with Peters situation and his health and his mother, his wife, excuse me and and the boys and Major League Baseball in the team was so good this year. I saw this in San Diego where Tony Gwynn got them to the World Series and they got to Lucchino got a city bill in San Diego that go out there and visit. It’s nice. Billy Joel place there, too. But for me with the Ravens deal, that’s the real deal. That sign. They’ve always been the big brother in the deal over the last 20 years as far as being grownups and winning, and being more community spirited about all of this. Obviously, John’s been kicking and fighting with almost everybody from the beginning. All you have to do is go to the press conference, Martin Luther King Day, but the Ravens didn’t do any of this publicly. It was always very quiet. What did they get? What did they not get? What did they want? Like and I the one thing that gets to my desk is when I go see Billy Joel when Stevie Nicks and I buy beer, and I park and I do all that mistake wasn’t drinking the money. And I’ve known enough over all these years to know putting on soccer events, putting on lacrosse Final Fours, putting on IRL races, putting on concerts at various points or not putting on concerts in the case of Jimmy Buffett, Van Halen, and Faith Hill 20 years ago and getting sued all of that. I would just say, for me, I don’t know anything. It’s a mystery to me. And I’m a journalist, and I don’t know whether my tax dollar from my $15 Beer went to the state or not Billy Joel, my impression is things have changed a little bit, because it’s so expensive to put those events on. And for a team to put those on to bring a promoter in. They the band makes all the money. I know enough to know that’s the dirty secret.
Tom Kelso 40:43
Well, right. Well, I’m glad you said that last part, because I think that’s very hard for people to understand. And but the the two fastest growing elements of income and expense at stadiums, is as the cost to maintain and operate it and the amusement tax that’s charged on ticket prices. So let’s deal with the cost side first, the fastest growing thing is is the cost to maintain and operate a stadium. So at m&t Bank Stadium, it’s about a million dollars a month. And so the Ravens under there,
Nestor Aparicio 41:24
is that is that it? Is that maintenance? Or is that paying the employees to cut the grass that keep the place clean to keep the toilets, flushing operations
Tom Kelso 41:30
and maintenance expenses?
Nestor Aparicio 41:33
That’s toilet paper two, that’s hard costs. That’s everything.
Tom Kelso 41:36
I’m not sure about that. No, I’m
Nestor Aparicio 41:38
just saying I don’t know who I don’t know who buys what, when I’ve been the best customer they’ve ever had. You know, I’ve been every game. But you know, like, I don’t know, sometimes on the wall, the Ravens pay for that understatement. Who’s paying for I literally don’t know.
Tom Kelso 41:52
So anyhow, so a million dollars a month, and next year, that’ll be $1.1 million a month and at 1.2 or three. And so the ravens are responsible for paying for all of it. And so what happens is, is that for the parts that are construction and maintenance oriented, the stadium authority lets all the contracts there run through the procurement process, Minority Business Enterprise, prevailing wage, all of the structures that go with procurement, the MSA board approves them, the Ravens approve them, any of them that are large enough have to go the Board of Public Works for approval. And the rent Once the work is done. The Ravens reimburse the stadium authority. So the Ravens pay all those costs. Okay, so they don’t pay a rent, but they pay all the costs. Let me
Nestor Aparicio 42:43
let me just ask this when improvements happen with the scoreboards got bigger and like, oh, you know, got me. I’ve been a Ravens fan forever. I’ve seen it get better. And but when that happens, I was under the impression that the Ravens paid for that. Well, they did. So because Steve’s rich. And because the Orioles would demand that if they asked where they couldn’t ask for it like literally because it would force you with in 2012, let’s say Not you but your predecessor into a bad spot. Right. So the Ravens did put hundreds of millions of dollars into that stadium, right?
Tom Kelso 43:15
That they did. So from the time it was constructed, they’ve put about $250 million into it. Most recently, they put $120 million into it from 2017 to 2019. And so the escalators, the video boards, the boards that are up in the notches to suites that are in the notches, and a lot of other things that people don’t see were actually paid for by the ravens,
Nestor Aparicio 43:40
and they’re not being reimbursed for that in this right. This
Tom Kelso 43:43
is not mature universe at all. That’s the money that they have spent sunk costs for them. Okay. Right. And so at the time they weren’t building, they don’t own by the way right into it, they put the state owned stadium.
Nestor Aparicio 43:55
So that’s So fair enough. And that’s, you know, two chairs, three chairs for steep Ashati on that, because, you know, the very few people that rent the place that want to improve the structure of the place, right. Well, they expect
Tom Kelso 44:08
the taxpayers to do it. So yes, I mean, look, working with Steve and Dick casts was a phenomenal experience, but didn’t always agree with Dick. I always knew where he was coming from. Right, right. All right. No, Dick, you know what I’m talking about? Yeah. Well,
Nestor Aparicio 44:27
that’s when I asked you what they asked for and what they got. And it would seem to me that most of their ask would be reasonable. Right. I mean, to some degree over the course of time, that’s been the story with them. But what what was important to the ravens and what was important to the citizens?
Tom Kelso 44:41
Well, what’s really important to the Ravens is is to be able to keep people coming to the stadium, and, you know, keep people coming and you know, not to let their business model out. But, you know, because payroll salaries continue to rise in the NFL is is that ticket prices need to continue to go up as well. So they still want to keep a packed house, and they want to be able to have pricing power when they need it. And in order to do that, you have to have all of the fan amenities that people want the fan experience, things that keep people coming back. People want to see new things, they want to experience new things in stadiums. That’s part of the game day experience.
Nestor Aparicio 45:19
Hey, Tom, I went to the sphere to see you too. Last week. Can you do that for me? Awesome. I mean, I’m just saying, Man, I just got back from that. And I’m like, alright, that’s the next thing, you know, world and I was at Camden Yards, a date open, there was never going to be anything, right. So you,
Tom Kelso 45:39
changes in football has been on fantasy sports, fantasy leagues, etc. So having all of the statistics visibly and available for people in the stadium is really critical. So that people are focusing on the game and can still get the information that they’re looking for without having to be on their phone the entire time. And so that’s huge for either team for the Ravens for the Orioles for everybody. And, but what they also want is that they want the stadium in great condition. And the way the stadium stays in great condition is is that you continue to fix the infrastructure and upgrade the infrastructure and the systems so that the air conditioning works so that the bathrooms work so that the steel is not rusting and things aren’t, you know, when
Nestor Aparicio 46:24
we’re cooking people in there too, right. I mean, like, there’s, we’re cooking people’s food in there, too. So it’s everywhere, right? Yeah.
Tom Kelso 46:32
And so one of the things that they’re in the process of doing now with the part of the $600 million is is that they’re upgrading all of the kitchens, so that you know that the food quality can be much better. And that, you know, again, the fan, the fan experience is what drives the Ravens? No, it’s what drives the Orioles. Right? I mean, they’re not dissimilar that way, both teams want the same things. And that’s why the authority I think was such a great partner is is that we got that. But we also want to be sure is is that our stadiums are still there and usable 1520 years from now. And so that’s the protecting, that’s protects the citizens, right so we don’t have to rebuild these things. It’s the ravens and the Orioles job to upgrade the fan experience and to focus on that.
Nestor Aparicio 47:22
Alright, so the Ravens get their deal and the Orioles don’t you had to honor conversations with John Angelo. She had very few conversations with Greg Thompson or with Governor Westmore. Where was it left with the Orioles? And the one thing people come to me all the time and I’ve had a lot of conversations, you know, with other citizens, informed citizens hopefully what do they want and John parading around Atlanta in a suburb that looks like they took the Owings Mills, where they used to be a mall and built a city. Literally, that’s a lot different than taking a footprint that’s overtop of a tunnel that our former Governor O’Malley once came on and said he didn’t know there was a tunnel and it was on fire, and he was at the Crisfield clambake that day. So one of the great stories in his book from his governorship. He said I didn’t know there was a tunnel and I was the mayor. And I didn’t know there was a tunnel under. I hope that John Angelos No, there’s no there’s a tunnel under there and you can’t build a skyscraper. We’ve seen David Bramble earlier in this week, you know, unleash what the harbor is going to look like. I was down at the convention center several times. They built a little mess down there for about pre playoff games and some of mer Scott’s folks down there. I live this was my view. This was my home for 19 years. This literally was my bedroom window. I took this picture out of my office window. So I lived on the 23rd floor harbor court from 2003 to 2022. It was my neighborhood and great picture. Thank you. Well, we take a lot of I can change it make it make it purple. I can make it Christmasy. I can make it there during the plague with a cross. I can do all sorts of things because we took pictures at our windows every day. I love the city. I love downtown. I loved everything about the way Camden Yards came online. I began my career in December of 91. I was there the first day with John Steadman and 92 Feels like five minutes ago, hard to believe it’s been 33 years. But I knew this time was going to come when there’s going to be the next thing. And I’ve already referenced San Diego. I’ve been to every baseball stadium that there is. I did a tour in 2015 30 ballparks in 30 days. I’ve been in every Wrigley I’ve seen Wrigley before it had lights. I’ve seen it now that they’ve turned it into a casino. You know, like I so all of these places. What does John think this is going to be if you gave him $1 billion, you know, I don’t even know what what could it be what? Cuz it’s not gonna be you know.
Tom Kelso 49:50
So let me give you some history. So when, you know, I realized that this was likely going to happen or 2021 was going to happen on my watch. thing is, is that we at the authority started working on, you know, how were we going to justify doing something that would be competitive with what other cities were doing. And so we started looking at development options and other options to increase foot traffic. And to make this a more productive building more than 100 days a year, or 81 days a year, but you know, a lot more days than that, we started doing that. And the person who came up with and started talking about live work, play was me. So I started talking and around the 25th anniversary of the stadium in 2017, I started to talk about having to reimagine what we were doing here, and live work play, because I knew we were going to have to invest substantial money. And we were going to have to justify to the governor and to the legislature as to how were we going to get a return on that. Right? How would it make sense for the state to put money in? And how are we going to get that return? And so that’s where this conversation came from. And at that time, John was not running the Orioles his father was, and, and so when John took over as CEO, I began to have these exact same conversations with John. And so part of this is a collaborative discussion between John Angelos and myself over the years as as to, you know, how might we make this so that we could activate this part of Baltimore City on more days than just the at one day, so Okay, so the idea is not new. What is in the memorandum of understanding, though, is is a concept that is completely opposite of what I was talking about. Because what I was talking about was the state as a partner in some of these things, so that the state could derive revenue from whatever additional value we create, but the way you have oversight on your own property, right, like literally an oversight on our own property, and never expected that they would want to demolish the stadium authority itself. And so, um, what the Memorandum of Understanding basically does is, is it gives all of this developable property at the warehouse Camden station, the parking lots that are just east of the warehouse, essentially, to the Orioles, they tout a $94 million of rent they’ll receive, but that’s over 99 years. So you’re gonna give it to the Orioles for 99 years, or you’re gonna give it to somebody for 99 years, you’re going to get $94 million in rent over that period of time. But the value of that 94 million in today’s dollars is about $15 million. So for $15 million of present value, you’re just going to give it to them and let them do with it what they want. And all of the upside, all of it, if there is any upside will accrue to them, rather than the state being a partner. And
Nestor Aparicio 53:08
this is where I get agitated. That’s where I get agitated because I’m old enough to be a young guy walking through the warehouse district, when they had talked about boobs pit beef being a 365 operation, when they talked about the Camden station, upscale roost Chrissy, you know, we’re gonna have white tablecloths, the Canton club, and we were all going to have dinner there on Friday nights it was going to be a jazz band, and the warehouse itself was going to be this hub of activity. And I got sold all of that when there were 48,000 people down there freezing their ass off in December buying $3.6 million worth of tickets and a thing called Moonlight madness that was dreamed up by the Latino people which Anna Marie was here and Charlie Steinberg, all of that. And the Angeles family inherited all that when they bought the team in 1993, including a striker and 94 that you know, that’s a whole it’s 30 years ago, you go read a book on that, or a couple books but that whole area and everything that might give instead and everything it’s the Jeppe did to turn this building over here this one right here that was former sports legends. I know the building all of that for well for our audience, you know, for I’ve seen all of this try to push life into the city. And I’ve also seen the little sports bar they have up between the stadiums and Philadelphia, the XFINITY and there’s bars and there’s no okay, you could put that where the Ravens walk is and maybe some people we’re going to casino Top Golf is selling. I mean, I sit here we’re talking about crime and issues and living in the city and me being a tax right, you know, me losing $250,000 on a condo that I invested in 20 years ago because I couldn’t give it away. And now we’re gonna build 900 more. I just care about all of these pipe dreams. And I think to myself, why would the state of Maryland give this to the Angelo’s family? And what’s the real plan if John wants a bunch of them Ernie and is the smartest guy in the room and has real plans and real money invested into what the structures are going to look like all the things that David brambles taken 18 months to try to put together. What where, where are the where are they you’re not in the chair anymore. You’re watching as a citizen like the rest of us. What’s it going to be Tom when it’s done?
Tom Kelso 55:22
Well, I think that’s a great question. And I was really impressed by the amount of thought and work that went into what David Bramble rolled out yesterday. And, you know, whether you agree with him or not is is that you at least have a very good conceptual visual of what he’s thinking about and
Nestor Aparicio 55:46
and they get their homework. And they’ve really done a lot of work. Well, he’s
Tom Kelso 55:48
a he is actually a developer, John Angelos. And the Orioles are not developers, the only developer on the Camden Yards complex is is the stadium authority. It developed the entire complex. So John Angeles is not a developer, I have no idea what he thinks his plans are. I know what we thought our plans were. And but you know, I don’t have any ideas as to what his his plans are. But I will say is, is that, you know, one of the reasons is, is that we were stymied over the last five years there, and there are things that we actually could have done, and I look back and think, Well, hell, we should have just done did them. But the problem is, is is that Peter didn’t want us to do anything, and you were always afraid to offend Peter. And so um, you know, he would say, Well, he was going to want Camden station for this idea, or that idea, the steakhouse, whatever it was, and then he would never follow through. But we were always in limbo and trying to do things with these properties, because we were afraid of offending Peter. And then we didn’t want to offend John in getting ahead of him when John took over. So it’s like, you know, you’re waiting for your partner to be your partner, but they never come through and be your partner. And so, you know, I do believe is, is that there’s some great concepts there that we had, that if they were put together is that they would improve that facility and improve the usability of the facility on more days than just game days. But it really involves the entire area. It’s not just the stadium, or the roads
Nestor Aparicio 57:26
property adjacent, no question about it as a guy who laid in bed every night and looked at this window during a plague and looked at the city, I just keep thinking these are the two richest, most important parts of the city. They’re a part that has our heart and our soul. How can we how can they not be a part of the next great thing that the city
Tom Kelso 57:47
so what we did at the authority, and this is earlier this year, is is that we put together and we invited people from the corner of or invested at the corner of Pratt and light street all the way down Pratt street all the way to the University of Maryland medical system and the University of Maryland professional schools, all the way north into Lexington market and hippodrome and all the way down into the caves, Valley partners, developments and the casino. And it was actually right before about a month before my term ended, is that we actually got this group together at a planning meeting at the stadium authority with the idea of bringing the entire area together and working together to create a broader work, live work play environment. You can’t do it all on the Camden Yards complex, because you pointed out that Atlanta is, you know, much larger acreage than Camden Yards complexes. So you have to do it and you can’t do it all with public money. You need private money. But you know, University of Maryland medical system wants to live where you work plan, the University of your own professional schools have students that live and work in that it needs to live and work in that area. You have all the stuff that David Bramble is doing, you have all of the entertainment district that caves Valley has helped create with the casino, etc. And you’ve got stadium square right across 395. And so you have this area, that’s a natural area to develop. But it has to be done in concert with one another, but it can’t be just done by the Orioles or by the state. It has to be done collectively
Nestor Aparicio 59:35
to take Steve’s parking. I mean, your house can’t just come in and say we’re just going to take Steve’s parking. I mean, that’s the other part of this is my wife looked at the I mean, my wife looked at the harbor with me for 19 years to she looked at these pictures we were talking about it over coffee right before the segment and she’s like, they’re gonna redo all the streets, right? She’s like they’re taking McKeldin square, like what becomes of light street where where are the cars going? to go, how are we going to egress and ingress like all of those things what what happens to I get confused the ramp, the spaghetti square that comes if you put an XFINITY live in that parking lot or 20 storey structure, the traffic part of this is also and the transportation Park transportation.
Tom Kelso 1:00:19
Let me say this, because I think very highly of him is, is that when we put this working group together, David Bramble actually volunteered to lead it going forward, the stadium authority started, and then David volunteered to take it forward. And his number one goal was to create a transportation flow for this entire area, so that you could see how people could get from one thing to the next, without necessarily having to go out and get in their car. And to begin to work on that, right. And it’s going to take a lot of creativity and a lot of focus over a long period of time. But you know, if you look at this as a broader area, not just the stadiums themselves, is is that you begin to create something that really does, you know, activate this part of the west side of downtown Baltimore. And so that was our goal was to be part of something that was larger, it’s state money, $1.2 billion. The way I looked at it, and I still look at it is, is that that’s just one thing that the state is doing in Baltimore City. And what we ought to do is, is be working collectively as a larger group, to tie to try to tie all this together, so that it’s done in a way that we get the greatest benefit from it. What I worry about is, is that what John Angelos is talking about it, he just wants his and that it’s so focused on what he wants to achieve, that it’s not really focused on how that fits into the broader area.
Nestor Aparicio 1:01:53
Tom Kelso is our guest, he’s the former Maryland chair, chairman of the Maryland stadium authority. Listen, you’ve given you’ve been very, I’m gonna need a little while to digest all of this. And I would love to offer you a crab cake or two, somewhere up in Harford County sometime in the next month or two. Because this doesn’t feel like there’s a finish line, right, like, feels like we’re gonna get together at Thanksgiving time. Maybe you and I over the holidays and talk more take a deeper dive, I’ll try to figure out what I didn’t learn in this thing. Because I, as you could tell, I’m rambling on this, because I haven’t talked anybody
Tom Kelso 1:02:24
to digest. Yeah, it really is. And I would look forward to that. Although, you know, I think that we should be cautious here and thinking that we have unlimited time, because the way these things work is is that we won’t know if there is a lease until it is actually most of notice stuff to go on the agenda for the Board of Public Works. So you know, I think trying to educate the public and trying to educate policymakers is is really important thing, it’s really important to me, because, um, you know, we want people that can actually influence the outcome here, to have the information to be able to influence the outcome. To me, that’s the most important thing. And you know, I’m not against good things. I just am against the destruction of the stadium authority, the giving away of the development property and going beyond the $600 million in terms of additional state money. Those are the things I’m against, but I’m not against creative ideas. And I’m certainly not personally against Governor more John Angelo. So I just think they’re wrong. But it’s not personal.
Nestor Aparicio 1:03:32
What would you say to Craig Thompson, if you you know, like, like, what would you say to him, if you call today and say, I need some help, other than I already seen you offered it, and the information of what you’ve learned about what John wanted yet, you want our conversations with the Angelus family? Like, I think you have some semblance or maybe you don’t even really know what they want other than money to do whatever they wanting to
Tom Kelso 1:03:54
hear. There’s nothing that’s in the MOU. That’s a total surprise to me. Okay, because I heard various bits and pieces of this is, especially last fall, after it was clear, Governor Moore was going to be governor and I started to hear a lot of this stuff from John. So it’s not all new to me.
Nestor Aparicio 1:04:12
You can get a bigger better deal than waiting, right? Everybody told me?
Tom Kelso 1:04:16
Exactly. I’m not surprised by that. But if I was asked by either the governor or by the current chair of the stadium authority, would you come in and sit down and talk to us and, you know, help us through some of this and give us some perspective. I’d be there today. I’d be there tomorrow. I’m not looking for public acclaim. I’m just looking for a good lease. That’s all I ever set out to get and that’s all I want. And if we get one, I’ll be out endorsing him. I won’t be a critic. I’ll be out you know saying to the public, I think this is a great deal so
Nestor Aparicio 1:04:50
but between now when we get together I want you to think I that that’s the homework for me. What What is it good deal what what would be good for our city? I think that’s our next conversation should be that because like, I don’t know what the ravens are going to do with all this money, and you said they already put 250 million into it, and I don’t see much as a fan, you know, bigger scoreboard, fine, it’s nice, whatever. But like, you don’t see a building, or a condo or a casino or a sports bar, or, you know, any of those things that that is structural. And I keep thinking myself $1.2 billion on at least buy like a new building something, you know, I should be able to look at
Tom Kelso 1:05:26
it. And I’m not going to get in front of the Ravens because it’s their stuff. But they’ve got some great plans for stuff that improvements are going to start actually being done as soon as the season’s over in January. So I think people will respond well to it the little bit that I know, because a lot of it was done after I left. But you know, what I’ve heard from people is, is that there’s some really creative stuff. And you know, I think that it’s within
Nestor Aparicio 1:05:54
the structure of the stadium, though, Tom, right. Like, did you say really create some am sure the ravens are working hard, they got a lot of money, they got something, but they can’t build anything, the parking lot, still the parking lot, right? Like whatever they’re doing
Tom Kelso 1:06:06
to build anything new. Right. Okay, outside the stadium, but you know, inside the stadium, I think you’ll see, you’ll begin to see because you can’t spend 600 million in one off season, right? I mean, you know, a plan to begin to change things is really a multi year plan where that money is actually spent gradually over time. Because at the you have yet you can’t do a lot while you’re playing the season’s over, you want to start the very next day. And then you basically have to take a lot of heavy equipment and a lot of that type of stuff out so that you can begin to use the stadium in August of the year when you start doing preseason games. So
Nestor Aparicio 1:06:49
the first example will be left field and Camden Yards and the deck right? Those were massive changes, structural changes the state of it that took time, it’s not an easy thing to do.
Tom Kelso 1:06:58
They take time and it’s and bigger scale than, than those things, but you know, larger scale. So I’m not going to get in front of the Ravens. They’re phenomenal. I’m going to let them roll out their stuff when they’re ready.
Nestor Aparicio 1:07:11
Well, then no worries, no, I, I know $600 million, should buy some improvements. So and it’s our money. And I’m glad that that you were on the watch for eight years. And you’ve been a wealth of information and very, very generous with your time on behalf of me and our audience. I am appreciative and I’m appreciative of anybody that is I don’t think it’s even in your in the way you are to be so outspoken that you’re looking for any light or heat to this. I mean, I if you weren’t, you could have been on my show for eight years running the thing
Tom Kelso 1:07:41
in eight years trying not to talk to the media. I understand
Nestor Aparicio 1:07:45
that. And that’s all the more important why you’re, I mean, I see this as you really ringing up, you know, putting on a red light saying there’s a there’s a fire year and we should be talking about I’m
Tom Kelso 1:07:55
in a very uncomfortable position. Because I know I I’m the only person that has a grasp of all the facts, and everything that happened up to this point. And I wish that there were other people, I wish that more people l had the knowledge to come out and talk about some of this stuff. But I know that I’m the only one and I do know the difference between right and wrong. And you know, let’s make this right, let’s not do it wrong. And but it’s very uncomfortable at times to be out here by myself, especially against a popular governor. And you know, the team played great this year. Congratulations to the Orioles to Mike Elias to John Angelo’s. I mean, you know, they played great and spent nominal. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be and, but I hope that people who disagree with me, you know, appreciate that. You know, I’m not out looking for a claim myself, I’m really just trying to get a better put the state in a better position to to get a better deal.
Nestor Aparicio 1:08:59
Well, you get to get a crap kick out of this either way. On top. Kelsey was here former Maryland stadium authority Chairman under the administration of Governor Hogan and and good Harford County residents. So Glassman sent me a birthday wish to, I have to say, say hello to the former county executive and get him well soon. Hey, thank you very much. Appreciate it. crabcake soon, and I learned a lot and that’s it’s not even lunchtime, so I appreciate it.
Tom Kelso 1:09:23
And that’s my goal. So I look forward to having a chance to do it again.
Nestor Aparicio 1:09:27
Well, good because some people just think I pop off and I don’t know what I’m talking about. What I really tried to do is find people like you that let me know that I know what I’m talking about. So you’ve cleared my head a little bit but made it spin Tom Kelso here big appreciation. And we’re gonna break that into a couple of segments out on the radio station. If you’re out there. We’re doing the Marilyn crabcakes were presented by the Maryland lottery. This is how the stadium stuff gets paid for from what I understand. Please do this responsibly if you’re doing this and please come on out and participate. We’re going to be at State Fair. We’re going to be over costus We’re going to be down to families in a couple of weeks. We’re going to be with Governor Moore in Annapolis later on this month as well, we’ll be giving these Maryland lottery scratch offs away. Also our friends at window nation 866 90 nation you buy two, you get two free 0% financing for five years. That’s pretty good deal. And then also our friends at Jiffy Lube and chiefly multi care on behalf everybody around here and love sports. I know it didn’t have to do too much with baseball, football, but certainly a lot to do with our experiences on Nesta, we’re w nsda and 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore. Positive