The Sports Legends Museum that has been a part of Baltimore for 10 years has closed down after failing to reach an agreement with the Maryland Stadium Authority on a new lease.
For Baltimore fans, this was a place to gather and see some of the memorabilia of some of the greatest players to play for the Orioles, Ravens and Colts, in addition to to holding several Babe Ruth exhibits as well.
Mike Gibbons, the executive director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation, said that the one-year proposal by the stadium authority wasn’t one that financially made sense for the foundation that runs the Sports Legends and Babe Ruth birthplace museums. Gibbons has said the the museum will look for a new location. The museum has been located adjacent to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
“A very sad day, I think, for us. We have been here for 10 years, also for Baltimore because I believe that this museum really accurately portrayed the incredible, wonderful sports heritage that we’ve got in the community,” said Gibbons.
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The Maryland Stadium Authority said the museum’s lease was up in April. The rent there was $17,000, but the museum only wanted to pay $10,000. The museum was having financial problems after two years of signing the original 20-year lease, with a provision being made that the stadium authority would forgive $444,000 in back rent in exchange for the lease to be reduced to five years instead.
On Friday, the board of directors for the foundation decided to reject the offer, and the museum will be closed, effective immediately.
The Babe Ruth Birthplace, which recently underwent renovations, will remain open for visits year-round. Gibbons has said that the organization plans to add some of the key exhibits from the Sports Legends Museum to the Birthplace while they search for a new location.
“If you take a look around this place, this place took years to design. But the good news is, we know our collection. We know the kind of casework we would use and now we need to apply it to a new venue,” Gibbons said.
It will be interesting to see what happens to the space at Camden Station as the museum was the largest tenant at the site. The stadium authority will have another decision to make with Geppi’s Entertainment Museum’s lease set to expire in September 2016.
It is another blow after a disappointing Baltimore Orioles season and the Baltimore Ravens horrible start. It’s hard to be a Baltimore sports fan right now. Hopefully, we get some good news soon.
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