Orioles Press Conference with David Rubenstein following the Key Bridge Collapse

Published: 3/28/2024

Remarks as prepared
Delivered on Thursday, March 28, 2024​

While today is an important day – it’s important that we acknowledge the moment we find ourselves in.

We pray for the families of all of the victims of the Key Bridge collapse.

Our hearts are with the families, and we are so sorry about this tragedy.

Nuestros corazones están con las familias. Lamentamos mucho esta tragedia. 

I want to recognize David Rubenstein.

I first met David around twenty years ago. A friend and mentor of mine, Kurt Schmoke, introduced us.

And the thing I’ve found about David is this:

In every interaction, he starts the conversation with “How’s Baltimore doin’?”

He’s a Baltimore Guy. And to have him at the helm of this team means everything to this city and this state.

David: Thank you for believing in Baltimore – and congratulations on the unanimous vote by MLB, declaring you the new controlling owner of the Orioles.

David: You and I know this team is about more than a baseball franchise. This team is about a city.

The Orioles are the soul of Baltimore. And we’re going to need you right now.

In this moment, it’s important to take stock of what a difference a year makes. 

One year ago, uncertainty clouded everything. 

One of the most storied franchises in baseball history had just months left on its lease. 

The default was to sign short-term deals; Because long-term deals were too hard.

We had a team of youth and promise – but hadn’t yet shown baseball just how good they could be.

We had a city that was full of hope and potential – but hadn’t yet shown the country its full strength.

We were coming off eight straight years of 300-plus homicides.

Our economy was still reeling from an unprecedented global pandemic.

And so from Day One, we made the deliberate decision that we would invest in Baltimore – because you cannot have a growing and thriving state if its largest city isn’t growing and thriving too.

We decided to work together – with local leadership, the private sector, and leaders at all levels of society. 

We were intentional about investing in public safety; And this year, Baltimore had the steepest one-year drop in homicides in the city’s history. 

We were intentional about economic growth; And Baltimore has one of the fastest growing economies in the nation.

We were intentional about keeping the Orioles in Baltimore; And signed a lease extension for thirty years to keep baseball in this city for a generation – and that’s why I’m proud to have leaders like Craig Thompson.

Baltimore is being tested right now. 

But Baltimore has been tested before;

And every time, we stand up on our two feet, we dust ourselves off, and we move forward.

Baltimore may get knocked down, but we always get back up.

The reason I came here today is because everyone needs to do their part.

We need every single Baltimorean and every single Marylander to join us in this work to rebuild the bridge and rebuild the city. And that work is happening as we speak.

The best minds in the world are coming together to collect the information we need to move forward with speed and safety in our response to the collapse.

Government is working hand-in-hand with industry to investigate the area, clear the wreck, and move the ship.

Leaders from across the local, state, and federal levels are gathering funds to rebuild the bridge.

This work isn’t going to take hours – or days – or weeks. 

We have a long road ahead of us.

And that’s why we need the Baltimore Orioles.

This team reminds us what we’re made of.

The Orioles give us hope. 

The Orioles give us pride. 

The Orioles remind us what it means to be Maryland Tough and Baltimore Strong.

Today, Baltimore stands strong. 

Baltimore stands tough. 

And Baltimore sees it through.

We are all here for Opening Day…. And I know that in this moment, we are going to move in partnership, so that all of us will come together again for Re-Opening Day of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

And you can bet on that.