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Baltimore Colts timeline: anatomy of a move

March 26, 2009

March 27, 1984: Irsay presented a new list of demands by phone to De Francis, including a $15 million loan at 8 percent interest; a guaranteed average home attendance of 43,000; and an offer of $6.6 million, up from $4.4 million, to purchase the training complex. Meanwhile, the State Senate approved by a vote of 38-4 the eminent domain legislation that would give Baltimore power to seize ownership of the Colts. It had not yet gone to the House of Delegates.

March 28, 1984: De Francis and Schaefer each tried twice to reach Irsay by phone to tell him the city would accept a new list of demands. Irsay did not take the calls. Shortly before 10 p.m., the moving vans arrived in Owings Mills.

March 28-29, 1984: Colts moved to Indianapolis.

March 29, 1984: Hughes signed the eminent domain bill shortly before noon. The city wired a $40 million offer to Irsay, an offer that is normally a prelude to an eminent domain action.

March 30, 1984: Baltimore filed an eminent domain suit.

Dec. 10, 1985: Federal court rejected the city's condemnation suit against the Colts. U.S. District Court Judge Walter E. Black Jr. in Baltimore, ruled the team had moved beyond Baltimore's legal reach when the city acted. According to Schaefer, city had spent more than $500,000 in legal fees on various Colts cases.

Source: Baltimore Sun archives

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