Commissioner Vincent sides with foes of B&O warehouse addition

April 19, 1991|By Mark Hyman | Mark Hyman,Sun Staff Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent confirmed yesterday that he was opposed to a plan under consideration by the Maryland Stadium Authority to build an addition to the B&O warehouse at the site of the Camden Yards baseball stadium.

"My view is that you have a wonderful ballpark design. It would be nice to keep it the way it was," Mr. Vincent said yesterday at the opening of the new Comiskey Park here.

Mr. Vincent said he wrote to Gov. William Donald Schaefer about his concerns. Later, they discussed the proposed addition by telephone.

Mr. Vincent said that he received no assurances from the governor, but that Mr. Schaefer told him "he'd look hard" at the plan.

The Stadium Authority has proposed an addition to the south end of the warehouse, in an area outside the ballpark. The renovation of the south end and construction of the addition would cost about $16 million, and it would be leased as the State Highway Administration headquarters.

The plan has met resistance from several sources, most notably officials of the Baltimore Orioles, who complain that the warehouse addition would detract from the ambience of the ballpark. The 1,116-foot-long warehouse building is being preserved as a backdrop to the stadium.

This month, state legislators directed the Stadium Authority to study other sites for the addition.

Yesterday, Mr. Schaefer called Mr. Vincent "a good guy" but would not say whether he approved of the Stadium Authority's current plan.

Then, referring to the Stadium Authority's chairman, Herbert J. Belgrad, and executive director, Bruce Hoffman, the governor said: "You've got two bright guys. They are not going to do anything to damage that ballpark. Don't worry about it. Everything's fine. Everything's taken care of."

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