Redskins stadium traffic duty to cost $50,000, study says

June 11, 1994|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Sun Staff Writer

Traffic duty around the proposed Redskins stadium in Laurel will cost nearly $50,000 for 10 home games the first season, an Anne Arundel County police study shows.

The money would pay for 32 police officers and two emergency medical technicians, but would not pay for security personnel inside the stadium, the study says.

Who will pay for the traffic and security details has not been determined.

"Right now, we're focused on traffic until we find out for sure what the county zoning office will do about approving the stadium," said Capt. Timothy R. Bowman, commander of the Western District precinct, which covers where the stadium would be built.

Parking and traffic problems became rallying issues for opponents as soon as team owner Jack Kent Cooke proposed building a 78,600-seat stadium on the western edge of Anne Arundel County, next to Laurel Race Course.

Questions about the effect stadium traffic would have on regional air quality also have become part of the debate.

L The location of stadium parking hasn't been resolved either.

A plan to move the Laurel Race Course stables from Anne Arundel County into neighboring Howard County hit a snag late this week. The Howard County Planning Board unanimously recommended that the Howard Zoning Board deny the request for a new zoning classification needed to move the 25 horse barns. The Redskins have offered to foot the bill for the $250,000 project as part of the stadium agreement.

Walter Lynch, project manager for the Redskins stadium, said: "We don't care if the stables are in Howard County, Anne Arundel County or any county. The stadium site is contiguous. If the stables stay where they are, it just means we have to put more parking on the Howard County side."

One proposed solution to the parking problem outlined in the study released yesterday would be to establish residential parking areas and issue stickers. Such parking districts would have to be approved by the Anne Arundel County Council.

"Our plan for covering traffic at stadium events may change again, depending on whether road improvements are made in the area," Captain Bowman said. "But we haven't even begun to deal with the issue or internal security at the stadium."

Lynch said the team will use a combination of police officers and private security.

Captain Bowman said that is a common practice at sports facilities. At the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., for example, the local police department provides only 15 officers to patrol inside during games.

But at RFK Stadium -- where the Redskins' lease will expire after the 1995-1996 season -- the Metropolitan Police Department provides 44 officers. Washington is reimbursed by the Redskins for the officers' overtime pay, Anne Arundel officials say.

Jeff Balentine, an Arundel budget analyst, said officers working at stadium events would average $22.19 per hour for overtime.

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