CFL Colts owner Jim Speros said he received an oral commitment yesterday for state funds in the renovation of Memorial Stadium.
Speros said he reached an agreement on state funding with Mark Wasserman, head of the Department of Economic and Employment Development, that includes a partial loan and a partial grant. He declined to say how much money was involved.
"We're working out the financial details of the deal," said Speros, whose Canadian Football League expansion team debuts this summer.
Last month, Gov. William Donald Schaefer said he was agreeable to assisting Speros in renovation plans.
Page W. Boinest, press secretary for Schaefer, said last night she was unable to confirm state participation. She said she was aware of negotiations, however.
Speros was given a $500,000 loan by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke for renovations to the stadium, and has worked several corporate sponsorship trades for services as well. A project to repaint the stadium seats blue and gray is under way.
Speros said he is considering leasing a JumboTron from Sony for game-day use this season. The cost is $10,000 a game.
In other CFL developments:
* Speros and WMAR have chosen Scott Garceau, Keith Mills and Tom Matte to man the team's TV broadcast team. Garceau, sports anchor on Channel 2, will do play-by-play, and Mills, working from the field, and Tom Matte will handle analysis. Matte is a limited partner in the team. Channel 2 will televise six regular-season games with an option for two more.
Speros said he was negotiating with Home Team Sports on a 10-game package as well.
* Speros and WJFK-AM (1300) finalized a three-year agreement for radio broadcasts yesterday. Speros said WJFK will cover all expenses and production costs in the arrangement. He said he and WJFK will select announcers in the next two weeks. Among those who have expressed interest, Speros said, are ex-Colt Joe Washington, Channel 45 sports director Bruce Cunningham, Channel 11 sports anchor Gerry Sandusky, University of Maryland announcer Johnny Holliday and former Washington Redskin Rick Walker.
Speros said WJFK will do 5 1/2 hours of game-day coverage for the 20-game schedule.
* The Colts will hold a Tag Day event at the stadium on June 11, in which fans will be invited to purchase season tickets from seats still available.