Belgrad reportedly meets with officials of Rams

January 21, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

Herbert J. Belgrad, chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, met with Los Angeles Rams officials in New York yesterday, Channel 2 reported last night.

The Rams confirmed that John Shaw, the club's executive vice president, was in New York on NFL business. The Rams are exploring the possibility of a move, and Shaw has expressed interest in Baltimore.

Earlier yesterday, Gov. William Donald Schaefer, asked if there was anything new about football, told a news conference, "I can give you a better answer tomorrow."

He did not elaborate, and his press secretary, Page Boinest, cautioned against placing too much importance on the comment.

"It might be nothing," she said.

Belgrad said that he spent yesterday out of town but declined to confirm or deny that he met with Shaw, and said he didn't expect any announcements today.

"Contrary to popular belief, I still practice law from time to time and do have client matters out of town. I'm not going to answer

questions about where I go and who I speak with. I don't want to mislead people or build any false optimism," he said.

"To the best of my knowledge, there will be no announcements Friday," Belgrad said.

Belgrad said last night he doesn't plan to give any public update on the progress of any negotiations with any team until Feb. 14, when he's to report back to the governor and the legislature.

"Any comments on any discussions will have to come from the governor's office," he said.

Belgrad had said previously that he has had direct or indirect contact with the Rams, Los Angeles Raiders, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has informed them of the Feb. 14 deadline.

The Rams have told the city of Anaheim, Calif., that on May 3 they plan to give 15 months' notice of a possible move and would be free to play elsewhere for the 1995 season. But their lease requires them to play in Anaheim during the 1994 season.

Gov. Schaefer has written Belgrad a letter telling him that if there's no strong indication by Feb. 14 that an NFL team is willing to move to Baltimore, he will embrace a Canadian Football League team for Baltimore and may even drop his opposition to Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke's building a stadium in Laurel.

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