Report: Baltimore likely to get Raiders

January 31, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

ATLANTA -- Larry Felser, a veteran pro football writer for the Buffalo News, wrote in yesterday's editions that the Los Angeles Raiders will "probably" move to Baltimore.

In the first paragraph of his notes column, he wrote, "The Baltimore Raiders. Roll that around on your tongue. It's probably going to happen."

The headline of the column was "Football Raiders Fancy Move to Baltimore" with the subhead, "Weary of LA, Davis not afraid to challenge [Jack Kent] Cooke over territorial rights."

Felser wrote that Georgia Frontiere, the owner of the Los Angeles Rams, was reluctant to take on Cooke, the Washington Redskins owner who wants to build a stadium in Laurel. But he said it would be no problem for Davis, who won an antitrust suit against the league in 1982 when he moved the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles.

Felser wrote that Davis felt it would be easier for the AFC Raiders to coexist with the Redskins than the Rams, who, like the Redskins, are an NFC team.

Felser wrote that Davis has "had enough of earthquakes, mudslides, riots and most of all, crowds of under 50,000 rattling around the Los Angeles Coliseum."

Felser wrote that the Baltimore expansion offer "staggered some of the NFL owners" and said it was "surprising" the city didn't get an expansion team.

The article does not quote anyone, but said that Davis has "told friends" he would be willing to live in Palm Beach, Fla., and "operate the team from there" because he doesn't want to deal with cold weather after living in California for three decades.

When Felser was asked about the column before the Super Bowl yesterday, he said, "I'm not saying it's a done deal, but I felt strongly enough about it to lead my column with it."

The Raiders have been mentioned by Herbert J. Belgrad, the chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, as one of the teams interested in Baltimore.

But there has been speculation that Davis would be reluctant to leave California.

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