Schaefer to tour stadium Speros hopes for funding

April 23, 1994|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

Gov. William Donald Schaefer will inspect Memorial Stadium Tuesday with an eye on possible state participation in the $2.5 million renovation project undertaken by the Baltimore CFL Colts.

The sudden thaw in the governor's relations with the Canadian Football League expansion team comes less than a week before Colts owner Jim Speros is to submit a bid to bring the 1996 Grey Cup championship game to 33rd Street.

Schaefer has been unwilling to commit state funds to the project while waging a last-ditch attempt to lure an NFL team to Baltimore.

Press secretary Page W. Boinest said last night that Schaefer has not yet made a commitment to help financially, but that he wanted to see the stadium.

"He's going to look at the facility and see if there's a role for the state [in the renovations]," Boinest said.

Should Schaefer decide to help, funds most likely would come from the Department of Economic and Employment Development.

"What this shows me is the governor wants to support what we're doing," said Speros, who makes his pitch for the Grey Cup on Thursday.

State comptroller Louis Goldstein contacted Speros after attending a team luncheon Monday. On Tuesday, a Schaefer aide asked Speros asked for a letter detailing money committed by the city and by Speros in the project, and what the total cost would be.

Speros said he and the city will account for $1 million of the projected cost -- $500,000 apiece. Another $1.5 million is needed to complete the renovations.

In a related matter, Speros said he has received a donation of approximately 9,000 gallons of paint, worth an estimated $100,000, from the Bruning Paint Company in Baltimore. Speros also said he is close to signing an agreement to put the team's preseason training camp at UMBC in Catonsville.

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