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NO LAURELS FOR REDSKINS IN MARYLAND -- BACK TO OLD D.C.?

     Redskins Owner Jack Kent Cooke's "six-year odyssey to find a
new home for his Washington Redskins was dealt another setback
yesterday" as Robert Wilcox, a local administrative hearing
officer, released a "sharply worded" decision denying a zoning
exemption to build on industry land in Laurel, MD.  Wilcox said
Cooke's property is "too small for the proposed use" of a 78,600-
seat stadium.  Wilcox decided the stadium would attract 4,000
more cars than Redskins officials predicted, "overwhelming" area
roads.  Redskins' traffic estimates of 3.5 ticketholders/car were
deemed "without merit" and Wilcox criticized the Redskins for not
submitting economic impact studies to prove community benefits
from the $160M stadium (Neufeld & Flynn, WASHINGTON TIMES,
10/13).  Stadium Project Manager Walter Lynch said the team will
study whether Wilcox's prediction of 3 ticketholders/car can be
accommodated with additional road improvements.  Lynch also said
the Redskins traffic estimates were based on a plan to require
fans to show parking passes or public transport tickets to enter
games, encouraging car pools (Dan Beyers, WASHINGTON POST,
10/13).
     BACK TO DC?  Redskins officials filed an appeal "hours after
the decision" and Cooke issued a statement calling it "arbitrary
and capricious."  Cooke said he still intends to "vigorously"
pursue a stadium in MD (WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/13).  But Cooke
spoke yesterday with DC mayoral candidate Marion Barry "about
keeping the team in [the District] after all."  Sources close to
the Redskins say the team "probably wants to assess the results
of the election before deciding whether to move forward in Laurel
or seriously examine other sites" (Dan Beyers, WASHINGTON POST,
10/13).  Barry said he will probably meet again with Cooke
"sometime next week" and that Cooke asked him yesterday if it
would be possible to "overcome the congressional and
environmental opposition" that led Cooke to look outside DC last
year.  Barry: "I'm prepared to do all we can do, including
tearing down RFK if necessary."  DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes
Norton said building on the RFK's current site would allow the
city to circumvent Hill approval because DC already has rights to
the property.  Edward Zukoski of the Sierra Club Legal Defense
Fund, speaking for groups opposed to building near RFK, called
renovating RFK "a win-win situation for the team and the
community" (Kovaleski & Henderson, WASHINGTON POST, 10/13).
     POLITICAL LANDSCAPING:  While MD Gov. William Donald
Schaefer, a consistent opponent of the Redskins moving to MD,
leaves office after this year, Democratic gubernatorial nominee
Parris Glendening said he hopes that Cooke "will return to
Washington or seek state help in finding a new site."  Republican
nominee Ellen Sauerbrey said she "wouldn't view this as good
riddance.  This may be the only way Maryland gets a major league
football team."  Sauerbrey did say she wouldn't "turn the
government upside down" to get the Redskins (Katherine Richards,
Baltimore SUN, 10/13).
     COMMENT:  Tony Kornheiser writes, "The pendulum has swung
back.  The only place you can build a new stadium is where all
the stadiums used to be -- in the cities" (WASHINGTON POST,
10/13).  But Michael Wilbon notes that DC "is the last city left
dragging its feet" to build a stadium downtown (WASHINGTON POST,
10/13).  An editorial in this morning's Baltimore SUN states that
Cooke "ought to reconsider staying in Washington" (Baltimore SUN,
10/13).  Ken Rosenthal: "Go home, Redskins" (Baltimore SUN,
10/13).   Citizens Against the Stadium (CATS II) President Jeanne
Mignon said, "Common sense ruled," and added that CATS would
continue fund-raising to fight the Redskins appeals.  (Katherine
Richards, Baltimore SUN, 10/13).
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