Expansion cities get ticket plan NFL proposes fans deposit year's rent PRO FOOTBALL

April 29, 1993|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,Staff Writer

If Baltimore decides to participate in the proposed NFL premium seat ticket campaign, fans will be asked during July and August to put down deposits equal to a year's rent on pricey club seats and sky boxes, according to rules being proposed by the league.

The NFL has sent out a two-page list of suggested regulations governing the seat campaign, which the league says it wants to use to test the markets vying for its two expansion franchises. Baltimore is competing with Charlotte, N.C., Memphis, Tenn., Jacksonville, Fla., and St. Louis.

Officials in each of the cities were asked to comment on the proposed rules, which will be made final and released during the next week.

The proposed rules call for fans and corporations to make multi-year commitments for sky boxes and club seats, putting down deposits equal to the first year's rent, according to a source who has seen the rules but asked not to be identified.

The deposits will be collected and put into an escrow account set up by each participating city, with the money to be returned with interest after December in the cities that are not awarded teams, the source said.

Each city will have the right to determine the number and cost of the tickets, but any one buyer will be limited to three sky boxes and 100 club seats to prevent a major benefactor from buying them all to impress the NFL with a sellout.

Herbert J. Belgrad, chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority and a leader of the city's NFL bid, said yesterday he had not seen the rules.

The decision on whether Baltimore will participate in the campaign will be made next week by a committee made up of representatives of the Maryland Stadium Authority, Greater Baltimore Committee and the prospective ownership groups.

Of the other cities, St. Louis, Jacksonville and Charlotte have decided to participate. Memphis and Baltimore officials have said they want to study the rules of the campaign before deciding.

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