Although he acknowledged contact with both the Chicago Bears and Houston Oilers in recent months, Maryland Stadium Authority chairman John Moag said he does not consider either team a likely candidate for relocation to Baltimore.
Both teams have said they need to improve their stadiums and would consider moving if necessary. Bears officials have said their first choice is the Chicago area, but they have considered two other cities they would not name.
Oilers owner Bud Adams has signed an exclusive negotiating agreement with Nashville, Tenn., in case Houston fails to build him a stadium.
Moag said the Oilers had inquired about Baltimore two or three months ago, but never pursued the matter.
"Apparently they didn't have an interest in talking with us. I think they are a team that is probably pretty fixated on the South," Moag said.
Both Bears president Michael McCaskey and chairman Edward McCaskey, his father, attended separate Orioles games with Moag a few months ago, and discussed issues related to stadium design and financing. But the subject of a move to Baltimore never came up, Moag said.
Moag said, however, that Baltimore's chances of convincing a team of moving here "remain very much alive."
He has been in communication with a couple of teams, but declined to reveal which ones.
"I'd say there's been a lot of conversation," he said.
"One thing you can count on is if you are hearing about it in the newspaper there is no serious negotiating going on," he said.
Since becoming a losing finalist in the NFL's 1993 expansion, Baltimore has been looked at by several teams, including two that have since moved -- the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams. In addition, the Bengals decided to stay in Cincinnati and local investors were outbid in efforts to buy the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots.
Funding established in 1988 by the Maryland General Assembly provides lottery proceeds and revenue bonds for the construction of an open-air stadium adjacent to Oriole Park on state-owned land now being used as a parking lot. Baltimore is the only city with public funding in place for a stadium.
The state has estimated it would cost more than $200 million to build the stadium and renovate the Owings Mills training complex used by the Colts before their move to Indianapolis in 1984. The stadium, loaded with sky boxes and other luxury accommodations, would be leased on generous terms that would make a team one of the richest in sports.