Weinglass includes fun in his NFL bottom line

November 15, 1991|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Evening Sun Staff

Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass won't do it for money.

But he would own an NFL expansion team for fun, he said yesterday during an informal meeting at Cross Keys with Baltimore media.

"People who are vying for [a team here] see it as a business venture," said Weinglass, who made his fortune with the Merry-Go-Round clothing chain.

"I'm not looking to make money. Don't get me wrong -- I don't want to lose money, either. But I can't think of anything nicer, or more creative and fun, other than owning the Orioles."

Weinglass, a 50-year-old businessman who remains an active participant in sports at his home in Aspen, Colo., heads one of three groups to have filed a $100,000 fee with the NFL for ownership of a potential team here.

The others are Florida businessman Malcolm Glazer and best-selling novelist Tom Clancy.

Weinglass, born in Baltimore, came back to be honored at the Maryland Sports Boosters banquet last night with an Unsung Hero Award for his many contributions to the city. Weinglass says he and the other five members of his group have contributed as much as $16 mil, From C1lion to Baltimore charities over the years.

Weinglass professed great optimism that Baltimore will get one of two teams scheduled to take the field in 1994. "I just really think we'll get a franchise," he said.

He also said that based on his group, which has a heavy local flavor, and his community involvement here, he is the overwhelming favorite to get ownership.

"I've been around enough to know that if I don't get it, something's wrong . . . something's not on the up and up," he said.

Weinglass will get a chance to make his case in front of league officials on Dec. 11, when Baltimore makes its first expansion presentation to the NFL.

And if money is the key, he said his group can match and probably exceed Glazer, who runs First Allied Corp.

"They have big bucks and we have big bucks," Weinglass said. "We probably have more bucks."

He estimated his group's worth at $350 million.

Other points Weinglass made:

* On St. Louis' candidacy: "I've been told that St. Louis' financial package is not together."

* On Clancy's candidacy in Baltimore: "He's a wealthy guy, but he can't do it alone."

* On his reputation as a bettor: "I don't bet, but when I did, it was $50 'Monday Night Football' bets."

* On Charlotte's candidacy: "I used to drive through there and it's a dead area. It's a basketball area. I don't think they'll support it."

* On the idea of a domed football stadium in Baltimore: "I would love a dome. There are other things you can do in it, especially in Baltimore."

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