For Speros, have team, will travel

ON THE CFL

November 17, 1995|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Baltimore Stallions owner Jim Speros is on the move, although he doesn't know where.

The possibilities are plentiful. Speros, who likely will have to move the Stallions, since the Cleveland Browns expect to relocate to Baltimore next year, already is looking into Houston as a new home. With the announcement that the Houston Oilers are moving to Nashville, Tenn., Speros plans to go to Texas again soon to confer with Astrodome officials and an investment group he met with last week.

"With the NFL officially leaving, I want to explore the possibility of moving there further," Speros said. "They are recruiting me pretty heavy."

Speros said he also has received inquiries from officials in Miami, Fla., Columbus and Akron, Ohio, and Norfolk, Va.

He plans to visit with Norfolk city officials on Wednesday, when he will take a look at the football facilities at Old Dominion and Norfolk State as possible CFL sites.

That has caused a rift between Speros and Shreveport Pirates president Lonie Glieberman. He wants to move the Pirates to nearby Hampton Roads and has been pursuing that course for the past month. Glieberman was miffed when Speros announced at a news conference 10 days ago that Norfolk interested him.

"That's where we're going," Glieberman said. "We're launching our season ticket drive there. We've already relocated to Hampton Roads."

Wrong. The CFL hasn't even examined the move yet, and will not approve it before its team owners meet in Toronto at the end of the month.

Speros, who incorrectly thought he had territorial rights to Norfolk, said he smoothed things over with Glieberman yesterday, when the two shared the same flight to Regina, Saskatchewan.

"I'm a team player in this league," Speros said. "I'm not going to run anybody over, and I'm not going to rain on anybody's parade. I just want to see this done right."

In the meantime, Speros will meet Tuesday morning in Annapolis with Gov. Parris N. Glendening to discuss how the Stallions might remain in Baltimore and share Memorial Stadium with the Browns for two seasons. The Stallions' lease with the city runs through 1998.

"I've worked on a proposal for two weeks to make to the state, a proposal that shows we can still be a money-maker," Speros said.

"The only way I will not stay in the state of Maryland is if the governor shows no financial responsibilities to our football team."

Back to Montreal?

Could the CFL be headed back to Montreal? In his State of the League address on Wednesday, league commissioner Larry Smith said representatives of Birmingham Barracudas owner Art Williams toured Olympic Stadium earlier this week.

The Montreal Alouettes left the CFL when they folded in 1987.

"His [Williams] people have been in Montreal and, obviously, we would like to get back into Montreal," said Smith, a former running back for the Alouettes. "But there might be difficulty based on political uncertainty."

Montreal is located in the province of Quebec, which nearly voted to break away from Canada last month.

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