Accorsi joins expansion effort Stadium authority gets NFL insider

April 09, 1993|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,Staff Writer

Baltimore's newest NFL booster has a background uniquely suited to his new job.

Along with his considerable other experience in the game, Ernie Accorsi, the new special adviser to the Maryland Stadium Authority for NFL expansion, worked in the NFL's headquarters the last time the league expanded.

"I was exposed to it from the ground up," said Accorsi, 51. But, he added, "That was 18 years ago."

He was assistant to the president of the AFC in the NFL's New Yorkheadquarters in 1975 and 1976 and was part of the process that saw the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers join the league for the 1976 season.

The winning cities were granted franchises in 1974, but Accorsi was AFC coordinator of the Seahawks' start-up.

Stadium authority chairman Herbert J. Belgrad said Accorsi was brought on because of his insider's knowledge and contacts within the game. He is being paid an undisclosed salary that is coming out of private funds collected for the expansion effort, Belgrad said.

Accorsi was most recently the vice president for football operations of the Cleveland Browns, a job he held from 1985 to 1992. Before that he was an assistant to the president

of the Browns.

He spent much of his career in Baltimore, where he now lives. He was with the Baltimore Colts from 1977 to the year they moved to Indianapolis, 1984, first as assistant general manager and then as general manager.

Before that, he was a sportswriter for a number of newspapers, including The Evening Sun, was the Colts' public relations director and then held the league office job.

The NFL says it will announce this fall two new teams from among the five finalist cities: Baltimore, St. Louis, Charlotte, N.C., Memphis, Tenn., and Jacksonville, Fla. The teams will begin play in 1995.

"It's going to be a very competitive race. I don't think you can rule any city out," Accorsi said.

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