The Baltimore Stallions boast one of the best defenses in the Canadian Football League, but the club believes it was overprotected otherwise last season and is negotiating with the city's police department for a break in its security bill.
The Stallions' lease at city-owned Memorial Stadium calls for the team to reimburse the police for security and traffic control during games. The team was billed $144,000 for last season, or $28.50 per man hour.
But team owner James Speros said the department assigned an average of 75 officers to games, and at some as many as 94, which he says was excessive. The Stallions' lease specifies the police department has sole discretion over manpower needs, but that any crowd over 12,000 requires a full contingent of 28 officers.
"Don't get me wrong; they do an excellent job," Speros said. He appealed to Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and is now trying to get the bill cut to $100,000.
Police spokesman Sam Ringgold said the department has reduced the number of officers at the games and is negotiating a reduction in last year's bill.
Ringgold said the team was not in arrears on the bill and would be billed at the end of the season for the reduced detail now being used. The Stallions also pay the city a rent, based on attendance, a ticket tax and fee for trash service.