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Stadium Neighbors Worried About Parking, Trash

February 12, 1996

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Neighbors near the site of what will be Baltimore’s new football stadium have many of the same concerns they had when Oriole Park at Camden Yards was being built.

The neighborhoods surrounding Camden Yards already have to deal with heavy traffic from home games at Oriole Park. But the new stadium will cut the number of parking spaces by 1,000 and will seat more people.

Construction on the new $200 million stadium for the team now known as the Cleveland Browns to play in is scheduled to begin in mid-August and be completed by August 1998.

``It is horrible trying to park as it is,″ said the Rev. Wendells Christopher, pastor of the Ebenezer African Methodist Church, near where construction is scheduled to begin this year on a new football stadium.

``If you have anything at the church, it is impossible to park.″

The Maryland Stadium Authority doesn’t plan to build any more parking lots and will instead encourage fans to ride mass transit or park in garages in the business district north of the stadium, said Bruce Hoffman, the authority’s executive director.

``It doesn’t make a lot of sense to have blacktop parking lots all over the city,″ he said.

Christopher Bruns, secretary of the Washington Village Improvement Association, said baseball fans cause problems as it is, leaving empty beer bottles on the street that are quickly broken.

``Something needs to be done about that,″ he said.

But not everyone in the neighborhoods around the proposed site is down on the idea.

``We’re very supportive and excited,″ said Tom Chagouris, president of Nick’s Inner Harbor Seafood at the Cross Street Market. ``We feel this can have a nice impact on our business.″

For its first two seasons in Baltimore, Art Modell’s still unnamed NFL team will play at Memorial Stadium, which for years staged games for both the Orioles and the Colts.

Mayor Kurt Schmoke said any disputes between neighbors and the football team would be resolved by a long-standing Memorial Stadium task force.

``I think the community is going to find the NFL team a real good neighbor,″ he said.

Some in the neighborhood around the old stadium can’t wait for the play to begin.

``See how quiet it is here? We need the games to get adrenalin going,″ said Shawanda Clark, who lives a half-block from Memorial Stadium and thinks having games there again is worth the ``hassle.″

But Nathaniel Price isn’t looking forward to the return of 60,000-plus people on Sunday afternoons.

``You don’t have any place to park,″ Price said. ``I wish they could find some place else to play.″

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