The Maryland Stadium Authority now has its first employee whose full-time job is to help Baltimore land a National Football League expansion franchise.
Authority chairman Herbert J. Belgrad said yesterday that Walt Gutowski, who served as Baltimore Colts public-relations director during the team's final three years here, has been hired to a $51,000-per-year post as NFL Expansion Coordinator.
In the newly created job, Gutowski will report to stadium authority executive director Bruce Hoffman and will help develop a master plan for acquiring an NFL franchise, according to the terms of his personal-services employment contract.
In addition, Gutowski will be meeting with the stadium authority's architects, financial planners and accountants and with representatives of the Greater Baltimore Committee. He said he'll also help evaluate "the feasibility and viability" of an open-air football stadium vs. a domed stadium that could be used for basketball and hockey.
Much of that information will be included in a proposal that ultimately will go to the NFL's expansion committee.
NFL officials haven't announced an expansion timetable, but commissioner Paul Tagliabue has said expansion is possible for the 1993 season. Using that date, stadium authority officials believe they may be asked to submit written and oral proposals by March 1991 and that the expansion cities could be named as early as October of next year.
As those dates approached, Belgrad said, "I realized we had to have someone on an ongoing basis who would be working with consultants and other members of the [stadium authority] team."
Gutowski, 32, worked for the Colts from 1979 through the 1983 season, the team's last in Baltimore. Since then, he has worked in public-relations departments of the Baltimore Skipjacks and Maryland National Bank. Recently, he earned a law degree from the University of Baltimore.
His employment contract with the stadium authority is for one year, but can be terminated on 30 days' notice.