Speros looks to complete Stallions move Not ready to announce

Houston trip planned

January 18, 1996|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Stallions owner Jim Speros listed the reasons the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup champions cannot stay in Baltimore, but yesterday he stopped short of announcing that the team is leaving.

Speros, who is negotiating a lease that would allow him to move the Stallions to Houston to play in 1996, said he will not announce a move until a deal is finalized. He said he plans to visit Houston again this weekend.

"I'm not announcing that I'm leaving yet, because I might have to stay and play in Baltimore in 1996," Speros said at a Memorial Stadium news conference.

Speros, who said the Stallions have lost $3 million during their two-year existence, said the team cannot survive here if the Cleveland Browns relocate to Baltimore. He said the Stallions will lose at least 50 percent of their corporate sponsors in that event.

Speros has been unsuccessful in his attempts to get financial assistance from the city or the state. His 20,000 season-ticket drive has fallen about 7,500 short.

"I think we've exhausted just about every avenue we've tried. I've certainly been aggressive in my approach to keep this football team here," Speros said.

"We cannot prosper here financially. I've had business people in town tell me that we should exit. They told me when the Cleveland Browns arrive, a bomb is going to go off and I'm going to get killed by the fumes.

"But there is no deal signed yet [with Houston]. We're down the road, but we will not announce anything until an agreement is reached."

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