Steadman criticism on targetSun columnist John Steadman...

Letters

February 14, 1999

Steadman criticism on target

Sun columnist John Steadman has hit the mark again. His article last Sunday points out how Art Modell and his cohort Parris Glendening have ravaged the people of Maryland over and over again.

We all knew the stadium deal had gone sour the moment we learned Modell had "given up" on Cleveland after 30 years. Then, as we learned about the giveaways (all revenue from concessions, all parking, half the gross of all other events, etc.), which exceeded anything offered to any other football team, we knew we were in trouble.

When the announcement was made about permanent seat licenses, I about had a coronary! How could we agree to pay twice for the privilege of freezing our butts off 10 times a year to see a bunch of average players who will never make it to the big game?

I agree with Steadman. It's time the state Attorney General's office looked into how the Maryland Stadium Authority managed to lose so much of the public's investment so quickly. For too many years Steadman has been the lone conscience behind the scenes in Maryland sports. It's about time some of his colleagues backed him up.

Jim Gutierrez, Albuquerque, N.M.

Stadium will pay for itself

John Steadman keeps bringing up the phrase, "The facility that you built with your money," when referring to the Ravens' stadium. I know Steadman has an agenda, but at least be honest. The stadium was built from bonds issued for the project, and serviced by the lottery sales, that are expressly directed for the stadium authority. Therefore, if you don't want to pay for it, don't buy the lottery tickets.

Now let's look at the cost. First, the stadium cost $223 million, and when Art Modell came here he agreed to give back $24 million. That takes the price down to $199 million. Subtract the $10 million paid for the naming rights, and you are at $189 million. I am not sure what the tax is on tickets, but let's say it's $3. Over the 30-year lease, that comes to $63 million. That leaves us at $123 million.

Now take into account the taxes paid by Ravens employees, taxes on the $105 million naming rights deal, taxes on parking in and around the stadium and taxes on the club's profits.

I will be the first to say that the whole project is not going to make Maryland rich, but I believe it will generate a profit for the state during the 30-year lease.

Marc D. Silverberg, Pikesville

Hockey coverage applauded

Many thanks for your long-overdue coverage of regional youth and amateur hockey the last couple of weeks, including interesting stories about the resurgence of high school hockey and the recently concluded annual Crab Pot Tournament, which produced an outstanding first-time win for Towson University.

Having witnessed Towson's come-from-behind victory against Buffalo the day before it beat Navy in the final, it's obvious that this talented team and coach Marshall Stevenson could have a great future in the college game nationally if the school and local media afford them the attention they deserve.

As pleased as I and other fans are with the new local hockey coverage, we'd be even more pleased if you would also start to provide progressively more information on NCAA and international hockey. The interest is definitely out there for this, too, so why not?

Dick Fairbanks, Baltimore

Soccer: read all about it?

The Sun sports section is chock-full of news and feature stories about the Ravens and the Orioles and, of course, the wonderful Terrapins basketball team, but the Blast only gets a nod, with a concise listing of the events leading up to a victory, or defeat, buried in the sports section.

Help us to get to know the team and the players better. It's a fun sport to watch. It could be a fun sport to read about, too.

Kris FauntLeRoy, Parkton

Pub Date: 2/14/99

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