NFL effort cost $3 million-plus, may leave debt

December 05, 1993|By Jon Morgan

Baltimore's failed franchise hunt probably cost more than $3 million, most of it privately donated, and may end up requiring contributions to balance its books.

The effort was run by the Baltimore NFL Expansion Committee, made up of the Maryland Stadium Authority, Greater Baltimore Committee, Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.

Committee co-chairman Herbert J. Belgrad, chairman of the stadium authority, estimates that the group ended up spending a little more than $750,000 on promotions, preliminary architectural work and staff.

That does not include the staff time devoted to stadium planning at the stadium authority, which would be the only major public contribution, he said.

The money came from $50,000 donations each from prospective owners Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass and Malcolm Glazer, contributions from the GBC, and several hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits from the preseason game at Memorial Stadium last year.

"There is going to be some deficit, but I don't think any of us have any handle on what the deficit will be. I don't think it's going to be any substantial amount," Mr. Belgrad said. "If we have a problem, we would hope that the corporate community would help us."

Mr. Glazer and Mr. Weinglass, who each estimate spending in excess of $1 million apiece on the effort, had agreed to cover the deficit if they won a team.

Contributions from either man now appear remote. Relations between them and the expansion committee have been chilly since the committee endorsed a last-minute bid by Cleveland businessman Alfred Lerner.

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