It should be crystal clear that the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland should ratchet up the discussion over replacing the 1stt Mariner Arena, a venue that has clearly outlived its usefulness. An observation made by Mark Turgeon, head basketball coach at the University of Maryland College Park, pointed out the problem:

In discussing his willingness to foster stronger ties with the Baltimore region, Mr. Turgeon said his major obstacle was 1st Mariner.

"We tried, and I don't see our playing up here in the foreseeable future," he said. "We looked into the arena, and we just didn't think it was conducive to what we were trying to do. It is something we really tried hard our first year. We tried to get a promoter, it just didn't work out. To be honest, I just don't see it happening."

Ouch! Our city, state and corporate community cannot allow this situation to go unaddressed. The Baltimore region does not have a major league, state-of-the-art arena required of a major American city. This is true not only for sporting events, but also major entertainment productions, national and worldwide conventions and other large attractions.

We must block this shot taken by Coach Turgeon.

Nathaniel McFadden, Baltimore

The writer, a Democrat, represents Baltimore City in the Maryland state Senate.