Angelos' Bucs bid included state aid Total Md. investment could have been $20M more than Modell deal


If Peter Angelos had succeeded in buying the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he may have had an unusual partner in the deal: the state of Maryland.

Angelos and the Maryland Stadium Authority had tentatively agreed on the outline of the deal, which the Orioles owner used in making his $210 million bid for the Bucs last year. The stadium authority agreed to invest up to $3 million in the team as a limited partner, and could have lost it if the deal had gone sour.

A copy of the uncompleted draft agreement, dated Jan. 10, 1995, was obtained yesterday by The Sun. The Bucs were sold to Florida financier Malcolm Glazer on Jan. 16, and the memorandum of understanding never was ratified by the stadium authority.

Angelos' costs in moving the Bucs would have been higher than Art Modell's because he also would have been buying the franchise. Modell paid $4 million for his team 35 years ago.

The state's investment in the Bucs also would have been higher: up to $20 million more than the $200 million projected for %J Modell's team, including $10 million in expenses to the team. And it would have allowed Angelos to sell the stadium name to a sponsor, potentially raising $10 million to $15 million.

Modell's agreement prohibits commercializing the name.

"When you come down to all the various components, I think it's fair to say that for a 70,000-seat stadium we would have been talking about a $220 million project, maybe $215 million," said Herbert Belgrad, the former stadium authority chairman who negotiated the agreement.

Angelos, who spent more than a year and thousands of dollars seeking an NFL franchise at then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer's request, declined to comment on the Bucs offer.

Belgrad disputes critics who say Modell's deal is more lucrative to the team or costly to the state than offers made to clubs going back to the city's 1991 application for an expansion franchise.

"The Browns deal as I know it from the reports is consistent with the others. They certainly don't get more and they may get less," Belgrad said.

He said state assistance for relocation expenses came up in negotiations for every team and was viewed as the cost of acquiring a franchise.

"We were in a different ballgame than expansion. There were substantial additional costs in relocation," Belgrad said.

Belgrad's former boss, Schaefer, said this week that he supports bringing the team to town but he believes the state gave away too much in the negotiations with Modell.

The arrangement with Angelos, negotiated under Schaefer's tenure, followed the same basic structure as Modell's: The state builds the stadium and the team pays as rent the cost of operating and maintaining it. Some differences:

* The state agreed to reimburse Angelos' investment group up to $2.5 million in legal fees, and up to a total of $10 million in expenses such as NFL fees and paying off leases in Tampa. Modell's team will pay for its relocation with up to $75 million in permanent seat licenses -- special fees required of season-ticket holders that have become common in recent NFL relocations.

* The state would have lost its $3 million equity investment in the team if Angelos' group had bought the Bucs but couldn't move them to Baltimore. In that case, Angelos would have had the option to return the team and forfeit a $7.5 million deposit, along with the state's $3 million.

* Maryland would have received all revenues from concerts, college games and other non-NFL events held at the stadium. Angelos would have had the right to veto any event, but would have had to reimburse the state up to $1.5 million a year if he unreasonably vetoed bookings.

Modell will control the stadium year-round and book events, keeping a 10 percent management fee and splitting the profits with the state. The team is liable for any losses.

* The Bucs proposal allowed for unrestricted use of permanent ** seat licenses. Angelos said at the time that he would not require PSLs.

Belgrad said he didn't think the state had the right to prohibit a team from selling PSLs. The Orioles, too, can sell them, he said.

The Browns agreement limits to $80 million the amount of PSL funds that can be raised, and restricts their use to specified relocation costs and targets the last $5 million to stadium construction. The $80 million is not below market: St. Louis raised $70 million in PSLs to get the Rams.

* The state would have spent up to $5 million to renovate the old Colts training facility in Owings Mills. Modell's team will build its own facility, but can use up to $15 million in PSL money.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad