Peter G. Angelos, who met last week with the owner of the Los Angeles Rams, said he is optimistic about the city's chances of procuring a team and intends to have further contact with Rams officials.
Angelos, the Orioles owner, flew to Los Angeles last Thursday. He met with Rams executive vice president John Shaw and had dinner at team owner Georgia Frontiere's Bel Air home.
"She's a very gracious lady, and I thought the evening produced a very clear conclusion that all parties were very compatible," Angelos said yesterday in his first public comment on the meeting.
"The meeting went very well," Angelos said. "Obviously, we intend to follow through."
Frontiere, the widow of former Baltimore Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom, "expressed a soft spot" for Baltimore, he said.
"She feels in a sense that she is a Baltimorean, and she said Baltimore should have a team and is a great sports town," Angelos said.
The meeting was essentially social, and did not include an exchange of offers, Angelos said. Frontiere has said she is considering selling a minority share in the team, possibly in conjunction with a move to a city offering a better stadium arrangement than the team's current home in Anaheim, Calif.
Angelos has said he will lead an investment group to make an offer if the team moves to the state-funded stadium proposed for downtown Baltimore. Former Orioles president Larry Lucchino and novelist Tom Clancy also are part of the group.
Angelos declined to discuss the content of his conversation with the Rams officials, but acknowledged that potential objections by Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke came up. Cooke plans to build a stadium in Laurel, about 15 miles from Baltimore.
"I think they are concerned about litigation, but they feel as we do, that no one wants to litigate but one has to sometimes and the chances for success are excellent," Angelos said.
The Rams likely will meet with other interested suitors, he said. Groups in St. Louis; Hartford, Conn.; San Antonio; and Memphis, Tenn., have expressed interest.
"The connection has been made. She's a very charming and gracious lady, and John Shaw is a highly competent and effective person and it would be a pleasure to work with him," Angelos said.
Rams spokesman Rick Smith said the team would not comment on the meeting.