Baltimore CFL owner Jim Speros said last week that he will make another attempt to rent a video board for Memorial Stadium, but that the asking price of $30,000 a night is too high for his expansion budget.
"I haven't ruled it out yet," he said. "But $30,000 is not feasible for us to do. I am willing to spend $10,000 for a video board for games."
Speros said the rental fee went up during the World Cup because of limited availability. Now, he hopes, it will come back to his range.
In addition to the $150,000 he has spent so far in the legal fight for the Colts name, Speros said he recently wrote a check for more than $300,000 to pay the state and city amusement tax for playing at the stadium.
And he is still waiting to receive $500,000 in state funds -- $400,000 of it in a loan package -- to help pay for renovation costs.
"If the NFL was here, there'd be $3 million pumped into the stadium," Speros said.
"For this team to be successful, the state of Maryland has to participate, just like it helped the Baysox and the Orioles. We've done everything ourselves."
Speros did receive a $500,000 loan from the city. "My hat's off to Mayor [Kurt L.] Schmoke. He deserves credit for doing what he did," he said.
The Baylis factor
Baltimore defensive tackle Robert Presbury, a native of Aberdeen, is discovering the benefits of playing beside All-CFL nose tackle Jearld Baylis. After two games, Presbury had 10 tackles and two sacks, thanks in part to the constant double-teaming that Baylis faces.
"That has a great deal to do with it," Presbury said. "We're doing a lot of talking out there. Once we get to know each other better, we will work better together. We're reading each other on the run right now."
Ken Benson, a linebacker-turned-rush end who broke his right ankle in Baltimore's first preseason game, was to have a pin removed from his leg last week, but the procedure has been pushed back a week to Aug. 1.
"It was not healing fast enough to take it out," he said.
Benson, who led the league in tackles last year, will have his leg in a cast for three weeks after the pin is removed. Then he'll require a three- to four-week rehabilitation before rejoining the CFLs. That puts him in mid-September before he can play again.
After eight weeks at Towson State, the CFLs move their practices to Kirk Field this week. Speros said he hopes the city will help him make improvements to the facility so it will better accommodate his team.
"It's a long-term goal," Speros said. "I'll be working with the city in the future. How much will it cost? $150,000 could do wonders."
Huard files suit
John Huard, fired last month by Shreveport, filed suit last week seeking the remainder of his three-year contract, a total of $255,333. He filed after the club missed a payment. This week the team also fired general manager Dean Albrecht, a former agent who brought Huard in. Albrecht's father, J.I., remains with the team as director of football operations -- perhaps only temporarily. Coach Forrest Gregg has total control over football decisions.
Last night was a homecoming for Pirates defensive back Don Caparotti, who was born in Damascus, Md. Caparotti, a four-year starter at the University of Massachusetts, was activated this week. . . . Baltimore quarterback Tracy Ham needed 67 yards last night to reach 22,000 passing yards in his eight-year career, and now has 22,253. . . . Although his team won comfortably, Baltimore coach Don Matthews felt there were too many wasted scoring opportunities in the first half. "We should have been winning by a lot more than 12-10, but our defense took over in the second half, and set up a lot of scores for us." . . . Starting defensive end William King suffered a torn ligament in his thumb in the first half. King was fitted with a cast and returned in the