A Memorial Stadium Task Force committee last night lent its support to the campaign to bring a Canadian Football League team to Baltimore.
By an 8-0 count, representatives of the four neighborhood communities around Memorial Stadium voted to conditionally recommend that Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke grant a stadium lease to James L. Speros, the lead investor in an effort to return pro football to Baltimore.
"We can't speculate on what the mayor will do, but as far as the communities are concerned, it's a go," said Robert Shreeve Jr., chairman of the task force's interim-use committee.
The vote on the CFL team passed with a number of "minor conditions," according to Shreeve. Areas of concern included trash pickup, security, travel permits for local residents and starting times for Sunday afternoon games.
"The meeting went very well," Speros said after addressing members of the committee, the Baltimore Development Corporation and the Department of Parks and Recreation. "We didn't make any promises we can't keep. We've done everything [the mayor] has asked.
"Hard work does pay off. We rolled back our sleeves, went into the community and told our story. I'm very excited."
Speros said he has received requests for 10,000 season tickets since setting up phone lines to take reservations, including 2,500 set aside for Colts Corral members.
One aspect of last night's presentation that appealed to Sandra Sparks, executive director of the Greater Homewood Community Corporation, was the idea of a scaled-down version of the NFL.
"They have gone way out of their way to offer community involvement," she said. "The scale of it is very good. It's like the old football days with the Colts."
The four community associations that voted last night were Better Waverly; Waverly Improvement Association; Coldstream, Homestead and Montebello; and Ednor Gardens/Lakeside.