State to consider Memorial funding

October 19, 1994|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

State funding for the continued renovation of Memorial Stadium for Baltimore's Canadian Football League team will be discussed this morning at a regular meeting of the Board of Public Works in Annapolis.

Marilyn Corbett, spokeswoman for the Department of Economic and Employment Development, confirmed the session yesterday, but declined to comment further.

The discussion comes two days after Gov. William Donald Schaefer met with Baltimore CFLs owner Jim Speros for 90 minutes over lunch at a downtown restaurant to clear the way for the funding. Speros will be at today's meeting.

Speros has been seeking additional revenue to provide improvements to the parking lot, scoreboard and sound system, among other things.

"I'm very encouraged by it," Speros said last night. "It was a very positive meeting.

"We've had a monumental first year. As I look back on it, one thing was missing -- William Donald Schaefer. I hope he'll be part of the team in the near future. Having Gov. Schaefer's support would mean a complete success for the team."

Last April, Schaefer toured the renovated stadium with Speros and said he was agreeable to providing state funds. On May 18, Speros said he received an oral commitment for those funds from Mark Wasserman, head of DEED.

The arrangement called for a $400,000 loan that would be guaranteed by the city, and a $100,000 grant from DEED.

But that financial aid recently was put on hold for unspecified reasons.

Speros launched stadium improvements with a $500,000 loan from Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke last spring.

"This in no way takes away from what Mayor Schmoke has done for us from Day One," Speros said.

Speros will hold an 8 a.m. fund-raiser breakfast for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Parris Glendening at the stadium before going to Annapolis for the meeting.

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