Stadium name resale by team OK with agency

January 25, 2002|By Andrew Ratner | Andrew Ratner,SUN STAFF

As the Baltimore Ravens and PSINet Inc. representatives closed in on a deal yesterday that could allow the team to resell the name on the city's football stadium, the Maryland Stadium Authority said it does not plan to contest the team's regaining the naming rights.

"The lease says that the team shall have the right to resell. ... It's there," said Alison L. Aste, general counsel for the agency that operates the football and baseball complex at Camden Yards.

According to the stadium lease, "The team shall have the right ... to sell naming rights to the football stadium, and all revenues therefrom shall be paid to the team."

The authority retains the right to approve any signs displayed on the stadium.

Representatives for the team continued negotiations yesterday with PSINet of Ashburn, Va. The Internet services company declared itself bankrupt last summer, only two years into a 20-year, $105.5-million agreement to have the stadium named for it.

"There are some wrinkles. I don't think they're terminal wrinkles," one attorney involved said. "I don't think that it will die of wrinkles. We'll just iron them out."

Said Lawrence E. Hyatt, chief restructuring officer for PSINet, "Our discussions with the Ravens have been amicable and fruitful, and there is likely to be something filed" soon in bankruptcy court.

State Sen. Robert H. Kittleman, a critic of the agency's transfer of the naming right in 1997, said in Annapolis that he didn't expect any serious attempt in the legislature to bar a resale.

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