Brown nominated as authority chairman UM booster would become 1st non-Baltimorean on job

Stadiums

December 12, 1998|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF

John Brown III, a Prince George's County restaurateur and longtime University of Maryland sports booster, has been nominated as chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority.

He would succeed John Moag, who will leave the volunteer post at the end of the month.

Brown, 51, is a close friend of Gov. Parris N. Glendening's and a former head of the Terrapin Club, the University of Maryland athletic fund-raising group. He is a founder and the principal of R.J. Bentley's Restaurant, a landmark campus bar and eatery in College Park.

"I'm thrilled. I think the opportunity to work with Bruce Hoffman and that staff is terrific. They are wonderful," Brown said. Hoffman is the executive director of the stadium authority.

Brown said he hopes to see a continuing warming in relations between the Orioles and the stadium authority, which had grown testy in recent years.

"We have a pretty fair dialogue with the Orioles. Things seem to have calmed down, and I hope they will continue to improve," Brown said.

A proposal to create an "urban entertainment zone" between the two stadiums in Camden Yards, which was bitterly opposed by Orioles owner Peter Angelos, will remain on hold until Brown can discuss it with the governor, he said.

Brown said he has never met Angelos but admires what he has done for the community.

He said he is looking forward to pursuing plans for a new arena at College Park and for Baltimore's Hippodrome Theater project.

Brown would become the third chairman since the stadium authority was created in 1986, and the first who doesn't come from Baltimore. He lives in Bethesda with his wife, Susan Tucker Brown, an attorney. They have three children.

The authority's two chief sports tenants expressed support for Glendening's nomination, which is subject to approval by the General Assembly. He would fill the final three years of Moag's term.

"I think he is a good man. He's got the endorsement of John Moag and Bruce Hoffman, and that's good enough for me," said Ravens owner Art Modell, who has met Brown several times during stadium events.

John Pica, an attorney in Angelos' law office, said: "The Orioles look forward to working with him. Peter Angelos appreciates that the governor has selected someone of Brown's integrity and character."

Brown is president of the Downtown College Park Management Authority and is on the board of directors of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, chairing its government relations committee. He is a 1973 graduate of the University of Maryland's business college.

"Having known John Brown since early in my political career, I am completely confident in his ability to continue the authority's record of success," Glendening said in a written statement.

Pub Date: 12/12/98

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