Orioles, state agency begin talks on naming new stadium

May 18, 1991|By Mark Hyman

They came, they chatted, they decided nothing.

But don't miss the significance: After delaying discussion of the issue for months, the Baltimore Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority have opened talks they hope will end with an agreement on a name for the new Camden Yards baseball park.

The issue was first raised formally at a meeting of Orioles and Stadium Authority officials last week.

Stadium Authority chairman Herbert J. Belgrad stressed that an array of ballpark issues, including a name, were discussed at the lunch meeting. The two sides have agreed to talk further, he said, after conferring with "our respective principals" -- the executives who will make the final decision -- Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Orioles principal owner Eli S. Jacobs.

The name of the new ballpark, which is scheduled to be finished for Opening Day 1992, has been hotly debated. A local television station and newspaper conducted "Name The Ballpark" polls recently.

The Orioles and the Stadium Authority are taking it up now because they have to choose the name far enough ahead of the opening so that signs can be ordered and delivered.

Belgrad said a name will be selected "probably next month."

During the first discussion of the issue -- which he attended along with Stadium Authority executive director Bruce Hoffman; Orioles president Larry Lucchino; and Mark Wasserman, Mr. Schaefer's top executive aide -- "we just mentioned the four names that seemed to turn up more often than others: Camden Yards, Babe Ruth [Park], Memorial Stadium and Oriole Park -- not that we're narrowing the field," Belgrad said.

"If I were to characterize the discussion, I'd say there was no strong feeling of opposition to any one of the names," he said.

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