CFL still wants to give ball to Baltimore

December 08, 1993|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Staff Writer

Jim Speros, the man who wants to put Baltimore on the Canadian Football League map, says he will not be dissuaded from that goal even if the Washington Redskins build a stadium in Laurel.

"I believe there's a Berlin Wall there [between Baltimore and Washington]," said Speros, a Virginia businessman. "The people of Baltimore want a team now. The Washington thing doesn't make any difference to me."

What's more, the possibility of the Redskins playing in Laurel doesn't make any difference to the CFL, either.

Larry Ryckman, owner of the Calgary Stampeders and chairman of the CFL expansion committee, said yesterday that his league would grant a Baltimore franchise to Speros even if the Redskins move to Laurel.

"I think that would absolutely prevent another NFL team from coming to the area," Ryckman said. "I don't see any negatives [for the CFL in that scenario]."

Speros once worked for Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, serving as an assistant coach with the club in 1982 and 1983. "This [talk of a Laurel stadium] isn't a bluff. It's been going on longer than people think."

Speros' biggest obstacle remains a lease on Memorial Stadium. Speros said he spoke with Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke last week and that a decision could come in the next few weeks.

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