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Orioles owner Edward Bennett Williams says he’ll consider signin

January 22, 1985

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Orioles owner Edward Bennett Williams says he’ll consider signing a long- term lease to keep his baseball team in Baltimore if a new stadium goes with the lease.

″I have no intentions of leaving Baltimore and never have. I’d have nothing against a long-term lease per se, but I’d have to know what the terms are,″ Williams said Monday.

The Mayor’s Special Sports Task Force’s recommendation for a new stadium in Baltimore City prompted Williams’ first public comment on the stadium issue Monday, but he declined to discuss the report in detail.

″Obviously, everyone is in favor of a new stadium in the abstract,″ Williams said. ″You can’t discuss it in the abstract. It has to be discussed in terms with respect to location, size, character.″

Williams said the Orioles organization did not exert any pressure on the task force search to recommend a new stadium, which the task force said could attract a National Football League franchise.

″This all started when the Colts left,″ he said. Williams said he would withhold comment on the task force’s recommendation until an exact location is chosen.

However, he did say, ″I am thrilled the city is interested enough in its sports teams to consider building a new stadium.″

Williams said it was fine with him that the task force recommended building a new stadium in Baltimore City, as opposed to a surburban location, considering the District of Columbia’s marketing success.

″I have no problem with it being in Baltimore City. I gather that it was a Baltimore City committee, so naturally it would be expected that they would (recommend a city location). I’m sure there are desirable sites,″ Williams said.

Williams was not prepared to comment on whether he preferred a surburban location in order to increase attendence by Washington fans without the benefit of some careful studies.

″They haven’t come up with anything with respect to a location. It (the location) doesn’t present a problem, I don’t think,″ he said.

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