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Stadium Authority seeks to keep fans' ticket deposits


Next week, the Maryland Stadium Authority will ask its most die-hard football fans, who plunked down millions of dollars in deposits for premium seats, to keep their money on deposit.

Baltimore fans put down more than $8 million in deposits on 100 sky boxes and 7,500 club seats during a two-month test campaign in 1993.

The drive was part of a NFL-designed competition to rate the finalists for two expansion franchises awarded in 1993.

The Stadium Authority has several times returned the money and asked fans to send it back if they want to remain on account. The most recent renewal expires today.

Only a few million dollars of the deposits remain in the interest-bearing escrow accounts. Fans making the deposits were promised seats in the new stadium, which won't be built unless a team commits to moving here.

Stadium Authority chairman John Moag said he decided to renew the program because it represents a lucrative incentive to teams considering moving here.

"It's an important marketing tool, and I don't think we're through with football yet," Moag said.

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