Pica warns Redskins: Vote yes on Browns

November 11, 1995|By Jon Morgan

The chairman of Baltimore's state Senate delegation vowed yesterday to oppose infrastructure funding for a Washington Redskins stadium in Prince George's County if owner Jack Kent Cooke votes against the Cleveland Browns' move to Baltimore.

"If you so much as twitch when the commissioner calls for those who vote nay, you best be prepared for a fight on the Senate floor," Democratic Sen. John Pica said in a letter sent to Cooke yesterday.

The Browns announced Monday that they are moving to Baltimore next season. Cooke's son, John Kent Cooke, a vice president of the Redskins, spoke against the move at the NFL's fall meetings Tuesday. The younger Cooke delivered an impassioned plea for loyalty to Cleveland, but did not speak out against Baltimore, according to witnesses of the speech.

The Redskins are negotiating for taxpayer support for roads, sewers, parking lots and other elements of a stadium the team says it will pay for itself. Those infrastructure costs have been estimated at $75 million or more.

"And you think you are going to oppose Baltimore's franchise when the owners vote? . . . You better think twice," Pica wrote to Cooke.

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