John Moag Jr., a Baltimore lawyer and lobbyist, is Gov. Parris Glendening's choice to become chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, according to administration sources.
In an unrelated development, the Stadium Authority said the Orioles paid rent of $3.7 million for the 1994 season, despite a players' strike that canceled the final 25 games at Camden Yards.
Moag is managing partner of the Baltimore law office of Patton, Boggs & Blow. Another of the firm's lawyers is former Gov. Harry Hughes, a political ally of Glendening.
Dianna Rosborough, the governor's press secretary, declined to confirm or deny Moag's selection. He would replace Baltimore lawyer Herbert J. Belgrad, the authority's chairman since it was created in 1986.
Belgrad, who guided the authority through construction of the critically acclaimed baseball ballpark, has told Glendening and state legislators that he wants to step down.
Moag did not return a call to his office yesterday. Belgrad declined to comment on the possible appointment.
The Orioles' rent payment is the lowest for the team in its three seasons at Camden Yards. The club paid $5.03 million in 1993, and $4.6 million for the club's first season at the ballpark in 1992.
In addition to the rent, the Orioles paid admission tax for 1994 of $2.8 million, bringing the team's total payment to $6.5 million.
The 10 percent admission tax is shared by the state and the city, with the state getting 8 percent and the city 2 percent.
The rent was a small factor in what was one of the team's worst financial years. Mostly because of lost revenues related to the strike, the Orioles suffered their first operating loss since 1982. Club official estimated the loss at $5.1 million.
Before the season, the Orioles had projected a $7.9 million operating profit, bringing the full economic impact of a work stoppage on the team to an estimated $13 million.
The strike also was expensive for the stadium authority. Belgrad said the authority lost about $100,000 for each home game canceled by the strike. After expenses, the authority nets about $65,000 per game, he said.
The state lost even more money from sales tax that would have been generated at hotels, restaurants and gas stations around the ballpark, Belgrad said.
The Orioles' rent is used to pay annual operating costs at the ballpark, which were $7.4 million for fiscal year 1994. Stadium authority officials said revenue from non-baseball events at the stadium, including private parties and use of the parking lots, would help compensate for the lower rent.
Under terms of their 30-year ballpark lease with the stadium authority, the Orioles pay their rent in two installments. The first payment is due in July. The second installment was paid Tuesday, the date it became due.
The team's rent is a percentage of money collected at the ballpark. Among other things, the Orioles' rent consists of 50 percent of net parking, 7 percent of the team's net ticket receipts and 6.67 percent of food sold in the stadium cafeteria and deli bars.