At O's request, ARA pulls out of concession deal CFL COLTS NOTEBOOK

May 03, 1994|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

On April 18, at a luncheon for local business leaders, CFL Colts owner Jim Speros held up an enlarged, mock check for $1 million. The occasion heralded Speros' partnership with ARA-Martin's as concessionaire at Memorial Stadium.

Two weeks later, the real check still hasn't arrived, and now ARA is no longer in the picture -- at the request of the Orioles. Peter Angelos, Orioles owner, yesterday acknowledged his involvement in ARA's decision to withdraw from the concessions deal with the Canadian Football League team.

"We had some problems with the dual utilization of the staff, that the staff assigned here to Oriole Park would be used jointly [at Memorial Stadium]," Angelos said. "We were concerned that would interfere with the level of service and quality of product as far as our fans are concerned, and we expressed those concerns to ARA management.

"I think they heard us. We appreciate their cooperation. I think that guarantees a high level of service to our fans. I'm sure the CFL Colts team can make other arrangements which will be satisfactory to them and their fans."

From ARA's Philadelphia offices, a spokesman only would say that ARA no longer was involved with the CFL team here.

Speros, meanwhile, says he still has the same deal in place with Martin Resnick, chairman of the board of Martin's West. Resnick was vacationing in Arizona yesterday, and unavailable to confirm his catering involvement.

"My deal will be the same given to me from Day 1," Speros said. "Marty's taken the lead and handling the whole thing. He's incorporating some minority participation in the contract."

TV time

WMAR-TV (Channel 2) has agreed to televise a minimum of six CFL Colts games this season, with an option for two more. Speros signed the agreement -- for one year and an option -- but Joe Lewin, WMAR general manager, was traveling yesterday and hadn't signed yet.

Speros said the TV deal will include a weekly special about the team and a second show that features Speros and coach Don Matthews.

The owner also said WMAR likely will have a three-man broadcasting team, and the leading candidates are Scott Garceau, Jeff Rimer and Keith Mills.

Cashing in

In the wake of the NFL filing a lawsuit Friday against the team over use of the Colts name, there was a run on CFL Colts merchandise yesterday, team spokesman Mike Gathagan said. Merchandise totaling $1,100 was sold, more than double the average daily take of $400. The CFL Colts store is located inside gate W2 at Memorial Stadium.

Miscellaneous

Speros said the CFL has been approached about possibly merging with two leagues in the formative stages, including one trying to get a TV contract with CBS to play on Sundays opposite the NFL. "Our philosophy at this time is not to go head-to-head on Sunday with the NFL," he said. "That's not the smartest thing for any league right now." He said the CFL is looking at adding Chicago and Boston for 1995, and Los Angeles and New York for 1996. . . . The team signed wide receiver Shannon Culver of Oklahoma State and offensive tackle Diego London of Miami. The 6-foot-4, 328-pound London is an Upper Marlboro native who was student body president in 1987-88 at Riverdale Baptist High. . . . Brad Melland was named assistant equipment manager.

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