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ORIOLES' PARITY CLAUSE ARGUMENT COULD GO EITHER WAY
Published February 15, 1996
While Orioles Owner Peter Angelos claims he is eligible for a deal "as sweet" as the one proposed for Art Modell because of a parity clause in the club's lease with the Maryland Stadium Authority, legal experts consulted by the Baltimore SUN do not fully agree. Martin Greenberg, Dir of Marquette's National Sports Law Center, points out while the Orioles may be entitled to "some enhancements," the team's lease guarantees the club only "fairly comparable" terms with any football franchise and that the difference between the two team's deals is "not necessarily vast." In order for the Orioles to prevail, there must be inequality of the entire package. Univ. of Maryland Law Prof. David Bogen adds it will be difficult for an arbitrator to differentiate between the deals because financial aspects of the two sports are "apples and oranges." In letters to Stadium Authority Chair John Moag and MD Gov. Parris Glendening, Angelos noted "alleged inequalities" in three areas: Rent vs. operating costs; stadium sky boxes; and control of non-stadium events (Snyder & Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 2/14). NO LOVE LOST? The SUN's Snyder notes the "growing bickering" between Moag and Angelos, writing that "behind-the- scenes tension" between the two began almost as soon as Moag took over the Authority post and "supplanted" Angelos as the head of Baltimore's NFL effort (Baltimore SUN, 2/14). MORNING BRIEFING: MD Gov. Parris Glendening, legislative leaders and other "key players" met at length yesterday, but failed to find a suitable way to win approval for the plan to spend $273M on stadiums for Baltimore and the Redskins. Discussion included: Extending the life of bonds used to pay for the Baltimore facility, and determining how much Prince George's County is "obliged" to contribute toward infrastructure costs for the Redskins' project (Smith & Waldron, Baltimore SUN, 2/15)....Despite Art Modell's comments that he is "over-extended" and cannot contribute anything toward a $200M Baltimore stadium, MD Speaker Casper Taylor said, "We're making progress. Mr. Modell is a very pragmatic person" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/15).