Spirit says yes to lease extension

November 14, 1996|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,SUN STAFF

The Spirit has agreed to a two-year extension of its lease that will keep the team at the Baltimore Arena through the 1999-2000 season.

The old lease is set to expire after the 1997-98 season. Details of the new lease, negotiated by Spirit general manager Drew Forrester and Arena operator Centre Management, were not disclosed.

In making the announcement, Mayor Kurt Schmoke said, "We're excited about the commitment the Spirit has shown to the city and the Arena. This is further proof that Baltimore sports teams see real value in playing at a downtown facility."

Mike Caggiano, owner of the Bandits hockey team, has announced a plan to build an arena in Baltimore County. But Forrester said that neither he nor Spirit owner Bill Stealey has been contacted by Caggiano about becoming a tenant there, nor have they attempted to contact him.

"We've been in the Arena for 15 years and we're happy here," Forrester said. "We have a great relationship. Centre Management made us an offer we couldn't refuse."

The Spirit is assured of playing most of its home games on weekends during the four-year life of the lease. Seventeen of its 20 home games this season are on Friday or Saturday night.

Pub Date: 11/14/96

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