Emil Bernard, a New York investments counselor heading a group that wants to bring the San Francisco Giants here, said he would provide the board with a letter of credit for that amount by next Tuesday.
Stadium general manager Bob Sigholtz said that once the letter of credit is provided and the city's Corporation Counsel is satisfied with the wording of the temporary agreement, a final lease would depend on the National League's approving the sale and transfer of the Giants.
What the Armory Board and Bernard emerged with yesterday was a memorandum of agreement, a skeletal lease settling forth financial and other commitments for both sides.
The memorandum was signed only by Bernard. If the corporation counsel is satisfied with the wording, Armory Board chairman J.C. Turner probably will sign it early next week, providing the letter of credit is obtained.
Sigholtz would not reveal details of the memorandum for a 40-year lease that Bernard signed yesterday. But, he would say. "There's no question the Armory Board is going to make a profit (if the deal materializes). The Armory Board cannot legally be in a deficit-spending position."
Sigholtz said the Bernard group would pay "at least half" of the maintenance and repair costs, plus paying for ticket takers, ushers, security guard and so forth. After the 10th year, they would pay a fixed rent.
The group also would get some revenue from parking and concessions.
"The board would feel more comfortable with a letter of credit," Sigholtz said following the three-hour session at the Armory with the three-man board, its staff and Bernard and his lawyer, Richard Tinkham.
Besides Turner, board members Julian Dugas, representing the mayor, and Maj. Gen. C. C. Bryant, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, attended. Dave Lovenheim, administrative assistant to Rep. Frank Horton (R-N.Y.), represented the congressional committee that has been working on the return of baseball to RFK.
Time is of the essence for Bernard's group if it hopes to buy the Giants. Tinkham has been authorized by Giant co-owner Bud Herseth to find a buyer for his half of the team. Tinkham has an exclusive option, through Jan. 15, for his clients to buy Herseth's share.
If they don't excercise that option by then, Tinkham said yesterday, "I think we're dead."
Bernard's group intends to borrow, on a short-term loan, $11 million from a Chicago bank he won't identify. Half of that money would be offered to Herseth for his share of the Giants. (In all, Bernard's group plans a $20 million investment).
Under the general partnership agreement between Herseth and co-owner Bob Lurie, Lurie would have 30 days and first option to buy out Herseth. If Lurie doesn't, their agreement provides that Lurie would be "obligated" to sell his share to Herseth.
Because of that agreement, Bernard believes Lurie can be forced to sell the club to Bernard for $11 million and give half of the money to Lurie.
National League approval would be required to transfer the Giants to Washington and the City of San Francisco certainly would go to court to block a move.
Furthermore, Lurie says the team isn't going anywhere. "I'm sick and tired of reading and hearing all these stories about my selling the Giants and opening the way for them to move out . . . They're nothing but lies," Lurie said yesterday.