Anne Arundel County residents are evenly divided over the Washington Redskins' plans to move to a new stadium on the county's western border, according to a poll released yesterday.
Roughly a third of the residents are opposed, a third favor the move and a third apparently don't care because they didn't know anything about it or didn't respond to the poll by the Anne Arundel County Community College Center for the Study of Local Issues.
Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke has proposed building a 78,600-seat stadium next to Laurel Race Course.
The school said that 32.4 percent of the 438 adults polled favor the Redskins' move to Laurel and 34.5 percent oppose the move.
The poll, which was conducted by telephone March 14-17, has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.
The Center for the Study of Local Issues trains students in social science research methods. Center Director E. Perry Ballard said in a statement that opposition to the move was concentrated in northern and central Anne Arundel County, in areas such as Brooklyn-Curtis Bay, Glen Burnie, Linthicum Heights, Pasadena and Severna Park.
He said the survey suggests these residents may fear the team's move would increase taxes without bringing any direct benefits to their areas.
"The stadium will not increase taxpayers' taxes," said Redskins' project manager Walter Lynch. "Most likely, improvements will be paid for through revenue bonds, which are paid for directly from taxes generated from the stadium."
D. Craig Horn, chairman of Citizens for a Planned Stadium in Laurel, said he was "very pleased" with the poll results, because they demonstrate that a substantial number of residents support the proposed stadium.
Representatives of Citizens Against the Stadium II could not be reached for comment.