Sun's stadium rhetoric is inflated and wrong

February 09, 1996

THE PURPOSE OF THIS letter is to register my disagreement with your Jan. 28 editorial, "Stadium myths in Annapolis." The only thing right about your piece is the thesis sentence about "inflated rhetoric," and you presented the wrong side. The inflated rhetoric has been, in fact, Parris Glendening's pontifications regarding both stadiums.

The original 1987 legislative approval of a downtown stadium was primarily a knee-jerk reaction to the loss of the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis. It was not well thought out at that time and only agreed to by a Democratic legislature as a result of the strong personality of Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who at that time had the support of most in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Much has changed since then regarding the NFL in general. The owners and players alike have become greedy. Owners, players and coaches can no longer be held in high esteem by us to promote as role models to our children. This fact, coupled with the recent introduction of the personal seat license, helps invalidate any assurances made to the NFL by the Maryland legislature in 1987. The recent addition of the PSL makes Maryland a partner with the Browns ownership in extorting football fans. Governor Glendening's emphatic assertions that the Camden Yards facility will add $9.2 million annually in state and local taxes cannot be backed up. Your claim that 1,400 permanent jobs will be created is equally nonsensical.

With Maryland so short on revenues that the governor's promised tax relief is in jeopardy, it is not prudent to fund the building of this stadium, which will only be used infrequently by prominent people.

The middle and lower classes cannot afford it. You are morally compelled to help defeat any and all state taxpayer support for this hustle. The state should revoke any commitments made to Art Modell, even if we have to pay damages for breach of contract. This will be cheaper in the long run than continued taxpayer funding for this debacle.

Stanley F. Westendorf


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