JACK KENT COOKE STADIUM, which opens today, is not an architectural tour-de-force. The project -- just inside the Capital Beltway in Prince George's County -- is not intended to rejuvenate downtown, like the MCI Arena in Washington or the baseball-football complex at Camden Yards. It also does not fall into the category -- some would say to its credit -- of many #F stadiums these days: publicly financed structures built to lure a team or keep one from moving.
Jack Kent Cooke Stadium is a monument one man built to himself, which, unfortunately, he never got to see. Mr. Cooke died in April at age 84. He was an irascible tycoon who tried to block the return of the National Football League to Baltimore. Still, it's a pity he won't be in the owner's box today, basking in the company of politically powerful and famous friends. His quest for a stadium site was as checkered and bizarre as his marital life.