Angelos calls governor's words 'grossly inappropriate' Garage opposition doesn't slight fans, owner says

November 25, 1997|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF

Orioles owner Peter Angelos termed "grossly inappropriate" comments last week from Gov. Parris N. Glendening, who urged the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority to work more closely on stadium issues.

In a four-page letter dated Nov. 20, Angelos reasserted the team's opposition to a stadium authority proposal to have a parking garage privately developed at Camden Yards in connection with an "urban entertainment complex."

The Orioles object on the grounds that it would bring a competing attraction a few hundred feet from Oriole Park and possibly diminish the aesthetics and operational logistics of the twin-stadium sports complex. The stadium authority says such a development would provide parking without using tax dollars and would bring jobs and tourists downtown.

Asked last week about the debate, Glendening said he had put on hold plans to solicit ideas from developers and wanted the team and stadium authority to work together on finding a long-term solution to parking needs. Construction of the stadium for the Ravens has displaced more than 2,000 parking spaces at Camden Yards.

"I told him [stadium authority chairman John Moag] I want them to work together. You can't have the authority just going out and saying, 'This is what we are going to do,' and you can't have the Orioles going out and saying, 'We're going to block this and to heck with the needs of the fans and everyone else,' " Glendening said.

On Nov. 17, stadium authority executive director Bruce Hoffman called Angelos' office to request a meeting among Angelos, Moag and Hoffman. As of yesterday, Angelos had not responded to the call.

But in his letter, the owner said Glendening's comment about the Orioles' "saying, 'We're going to block this and to heck with the needs of the fans and everyone else' " was "grossly inappropriate and reflects a serious lack of knowledge of what is occurring."

Angelos said: "We will not support dropping a shopping center between the two stadiums."

Angelos also complained about the team's lack of advance knowledge of and input to the parking proposal. Conversely, stadium authority officials have complained about an inability to get the Orioles to talk about the matter.

David Iannucci, Glendening's deputy chief of staff, declined to comment on the letter.

Pub Date: 11/25/97

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