Stadium area: 'Veterans' Place?' Councilman DiBlasi suggests name to honor military vets.

September 24, 1991|By Patrick Gilbert | Patrick Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff

Legislation was introduced last night in the City Council put the name "Veterans' Place" on an area of downtown Baltimore that would include the 85-acre, baseball-football sports complex in Camden Yards.

Councilman Joseph J. DiBlasi, D-6th, the sponsor of the bill, said he feels that somehow veterans, in whose honor Memorial Stadium was named, should be recognized at the new complex.

The legislation would extend for one block of city property in all directions the area in which the sports complex is located and name the area Veterans' Place. The measure would take effect upon enactment.

The baseball stadium, as yet unnamed, is scheduled to open next April. A football stadium will be built just south of the baseball park if the city gets a National Football League expansion franchise.

The new baseball stadium will replace Memorial Stadium where the Baltimore Orioles currently play their home games and where the Baltimore Colts played before moving to Indianapolis in 1984.

Under a lease agreement between the Maryland Stadium Authority and the Baltimore Orioles, the name of the new baseball stadium is to be decided jointly by the authority and the Orioles.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Eli Jacobs, owner of the Orioles, are deadlocked over a name. Schaefer prefers Camden Yards, while Jacobs likes Oriole Park.

"Maybe the legislation will offer them a compromise and the new baseball stadium could be called Veterans' Stadium," said DiBlasi. "If not, then the name could be considered for a new football stadium. But if Veterans' Stadium is not used for either facility, at least the whole complex could still be named to honor our veterans."

Herbert J. Belgrad, chairman of the stadium authority, said last night that state legislation that created the stadium authority gives it the exclusive right to name the sports complex.

The 15-year ballpark lease, however, states that the name of the baseball stadium will be selected jointly by the Orioles and the stadium authority.

The stadium authority, Belgrad added, welcomes suggestions as to what the entire complex might be named.

Belgrad said that at least some portion of the complex, perhaps a plaza, would be named "to honor the memory of those who have given their lives for our country."

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