October 27, 2002

Naming rights only let the rich get richer

While reading Mike Preston's column on Oct. 20 ["Honor Unitas, but don't name stadium for him"], I learned that Preston believes that the Ravens' majority owner, Art Modell, and the minority owner, Steve Bisciotti, need the $100 million that may be available for the naming rights to the stadium.

Preston goes on to say that the "decision isn't about greed, but common sense."

While on the subject of common sense, let's look at how much sense it made for the taxpayers of Maryland to pay $206 million of the cost of constructing the Ravens stadium, while Modell contributed only $24 million. Then a representative of the state turned around and "gave," for approximately $10 million, the naming rights to Modell. The state knew that he likely would be able to sell those rights, as he did, to an advertiser for $100 million.

I recognize the right of a businessman to make a profit, but I believe very strongly that the state and city did not need to subsidize the owners of the Ravens, despite Bisciotti being worth only $500 million, according to Preston's report.

Preston also said that the Ravens need that extra $100 million to pay the future salaries and bonuses of the players. I believe those salaries already are astronomical.

That $100 million will allow Modell and Bisciotti to make the already very rich Ravens players even richer.

Kurt G. Wenzing Jr. Westminster

Who owns rights? Maryland taxpayers

I read Mike Preston's article in The Sun on Oct. 20 about not naming the Ravens' stadium after Johnny Unitas. He makes some very convincing arguments, until you realize that they're all based on the false premise that the naming rights belong to Art Modell, or whoever he sells the club to.

No one will ever be able to convince me that the citizens and taxpayers of Maryland don't own the naming rights. After all, they bought and paid for the stadium (and the Ravens) with their taxes. Haven't we given these extortionists enough already! We, the citizens of Maryland, rightfully own the naming rights to the stadium.

We paid for it! We ought to have the right to sell it to the highest bidder, for money to be used to benefit all Marylanders, not just one or two greedy owners whose pockets we've already lined so generously; or we ought to be able to name the stadium as we see fit. It's our choice, not Art Modell's, or poor Steve Bisciotti's (as Mike Preston refers to him). Imagine that, the poor guy only has $500 million.

Maybe, we ought to take up a statewide collection to help him out; or didn't we just do that for poor Art Modell with our tax dollars?

Baltimore and Maryland have suffered at the hands of greedy owners more than once; and it will happen again, if one or the other of the owners of Maryland sports teams can't extort enough money from the citizens to sate their voracious appetites.

They'll find some other gullible citizens who'll be willing to pay their price!

Ron Parsons Glen Burnie

Readers lucky to have Vecsey as columnist

Enough already with the small-minded grousing about columnist Laura Vecsey.

Fans who squawk about Vecsey should try to remember that Baltimore is a big-league sports town. It's OK to care about games played outside your own backyard.

Last week's grouchy letter writer complained that no one cares about Vecsey's topics, that she strays too far from Baltimore sports.

I still care about the World Series. Vecsey has devoted the whole month of October to expert analysis of postseason baseball. Is it her fault the Orioles were nowhere near the playoffs? Alas, her coverage is as close as Baltimore fans can get to the middle of the action.

So, what to do when only one local big-league team is in season? Mike Preston gives us plenty of football. We don't need two columnists to tell us the Ravens are 3-3.

Vecsey is a pro and The Sun and its readers are lucky she's here.

Patrick Smith Baltimore

ThunderStix preferable to loud, profane fans

I just wanted to comment on Laura Vecsey's column of Oct. 20 titled, "Memo to Anaheim fans: Lose the ThunderStix."

She complains that baseball used to be "such a nice, quiet game," but ThunderStix and the newfound devotion of Southern California fans have gone a bit too far.

What would she rather want, the constant madness and pouring out of obscenities by fans in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore? Or rather the incessant gimmick noise pumped through the sound system at Oriole Park between batters and during a rally?

At least the ThunderStix provide a way for fans to get involved.

Joseph Spangler Edgewood

Thanks to Modells for recognizing Colts

Thank you to the Modell family for bringing our football history back to Baltimore. Not only did they restore football in Baltimore with the Ravens, now they have given us the Unitas statue, Unitas Plaza and the Baltimore Colts in the Ring of Honor.

What a tremendous feeling to watch a game at Ravens Stadium and look up to see the Baltimore Colts Hall of Fame numbers back where they belong.

Miles Goodman Owings Mills

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.