Angelos says chances of getting club are better

March 11, 1994|By Jon Morgan and Mark Hyman | Jon Morgan and Mark Hyman,Sun Staff Writers

Prospective NFL investor and Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos said the truce signed between the governor and legislative leaders over the move of the Washington Redskins to Laurel should enhance his chances of getting a team in Baltimore.

"I'm very pleased with that development I think that enhances our ability to be successful. It improves our negotiating posture. We're not confronted with a deadline that generates pressure," Angelos said.

In recent weeks Angelos has been assembling an investment group, which now includes former Orioles president Larry Lucchino and novelist Tom Clancy, and has sent representatives to meet with the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Rams are considering a move and the Bucs might be sold in coming months.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer, House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr., D-Allegany, and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-PrinceGeorge's, agreed on Wednesday to neither disrupt the planned move of the Redskins to Laurel or the funding for a Baltimore football stadium.

Angelos disputes the position held by many in the NFL that teams in Baltimore and Laurel would be too close -- 14 miles apart -- to succeed financially.

"There simply is no conflict between a Washington Redskins team based in Laurel, which is a suburb of Washington, and an NFL team in Baltimore," Angelos said.

Jack Kent Cooke holds the opposite view and resisted pressure from Schaefer to agree not to interfere with Baltimore's NFL efforts. Cooke has said the region is too small to support two teams and predicts the league would not permit franchises so close.

Cooke's failure to accept Baltimore's position angered the chairman of the city's Senate delegation, State Sen. John Pica, D-Baltimore.

Pica criticized the deal yesterday, calling it "not worth the paper it's printed on. . . . I'm outraged."

He predicted that groundbreaking for the Laurel stadium would be delayed by lawsuits and zoning requirements long enough for a team to move to Baltimore. In that event, he said, Cooke might relocate to Washington or Northern Virginia.

"Years will pass before one shovel will break ground for that stadium. . . . If Baltimore gets a team we'll be playing football in Baltimore before they break ground so Jack Kent Cooke has to decide whether he wants to build 14 miles away," Pica said.

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