201 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Baltimore Skipjacks (AHL)
Baltimore Blast (NPSL)
Baltimore Thunder (NLL)
Baltimore Bullets (NBA) 1963-1973
Baltimore Blades (WHA) 1975
Washington Bullets (NBA)
BALTIMORE SEEKS TEAM FOR NEW ARENA
June 10, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures
Baltimore has hired a consultant to locate an NBA team that might want to move into a new arena the city is considering. The city is reportedly talking with the San Antonio Spurs, the Sacramento Kings and the Houston Rockets about a possible move.
A consultant's report recently told city officials that Baltimore's best hopes to land a new NBA or NHL franchise come in spending $200 million to replace its aging sports arena. The current arena, built in 1963, is the home to the NPSL Baltimore Blast. It seats 13,700 for soccer and has no luxury suites or club seats.
The report requested by the city has three options with seating up to 19,000 or as low as 12,000, depending upon whether the city wants to get into the big leagues of basketball or hockey. The report suggests linking the arena with a $350 million redevelopment plan on the downtown's west side. No solid financing plan was presented, but several alternatives were discussed. Some city officials say they would expect the new team to fund at least half the cost of a new arena while others, citing the city's deficit, say the city should not invest any money in the venue.
Some observers also suggest the market for luxury suites in Baltimore is already saturated with offerings from the Oriole's ballpark, the new PSINet Stadium for the Ravens and opportunities to buy suites at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium and the MCI Center in nearby Washington.
The Spurs, who lost a bid for a new arena last fall, say they have been contacted by Baltimore officials, but plan to stay in San Antonio. Team officials say they would like to put another issue before voters in January, but they have not received any promises from city officials. The Spurs would like to leave the Alamodome which was originally designed for football.