Lowdown on the city's NFL contenders

October 27, 1995|By Jon Morgan

An unprecedented number of teams are unhappy with their stadiums, giving rise to hopes one could move to Baltimore:

Arizona Cardinals

Considered Baltimore before moving from St. Louis to Arizona in 1988. Now say they were promised a new stadium in Arizona that was never built. Several sources confirm contact between the team and Maryland officials, but note team also interested in

Los Angeles.

Cleveland Browns

Need to win a Nov. 7 referendum to get a $150 million rehab of Cleveland Stadium, built 63 years ago. Part-owner Al Lerner has significant business holdings here and was briefly a candidate to own a Baltimore expansion team -- suggesting he may be a candidate to buy out majority owner Art Modell if he chooses to sell.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sold last year to Malcolm Glazer, one-time applicant for a Baltimore expansion team, who outbid Orioles owner Peter Angelos. Glazer has told Tampa officials he wants funding in place by the end of this year for a new stadium. There is speculation that his deadline may be timed to Baltimore's. He has made a public effort, including offering to pay some of the costs of the stadium, to draw support in Tampa with mixed results -- something that would strengthen a request to move.

Cincinnati Bengals

Earlier this year balked at a refurbishing of Riverfront Stadium when it looked as though the Reds were going to get a new park. After a visit to Baltimore by the Bengals president, Ohio politicians came up with funding for two parks. But the tax increases will be challenged in a referendum in March.

Seattle Seahawks

Voters last month rejected a tax increase to build a park for the Mariners and refurbish the Kingdome for the Seahawks. Politicians there since have found other funding for the Mariners, but not the Seahawks. Team officials recently met with the NFL commissioner to discuss their plight.

New England Patriots

Lawmakers in Massachusetts unable to agree on how to pay for stadiums for Patriots and Red Sox. Plans for a combined convention center/stadium have collapsed, and the state is offering infrastructure improvements at outdated Foxboro Stadium in exchange for a 25-year commitment.

Houston Oilers

Negotiating with Nashville, Tenn., but city's treasury is strained by construction of a downtown arena. Team signed exclusive negotiating rights with Nashville and extended them once.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Team president Dan Rooney said recently that the city needs to come to a decision soon about outdated Three Rivers Stadium, which he said needs a minimum of $75 million in improvements.

Chicago Bears

The team is considering rival offers from Chicago and northwest Indiana for a new or refurbished stadium.

Washington Redskins

The team is in the midst of talks to build a stadium in Prince George's County. The team, which plays in the smallest stadium in the league, has rejected offers to move to Baltimore, but some think this would be logical: They could stay at RFK until the new stadium is built and would retain many of their current fans.

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