Baltimore Colt owner Robert Irsay is thinking about moving his National Football League team to Jacksonville, the Florida Times-Union said today.
Irsay told the newspaper he was interested in moving the Colts to Jacksonville's 72,000-seat Gator Bowl if the city provided certain facilities and services he said were necessary for an NFL team.
City officials also expressed interest, the Times-Union reported.
"I'm very serious," Irsay said. "I'd say it's a good possibility of moving to Jacksonville, based on what I've been told the city can produce.
"Jacksonville is one of several cities I'm looking at. I love Florida. In fact, I have a home at Bal Harbour," a city north of Miami Beach.
The Colt owner has talked to officials of the Los Angeles Coliseum about moving his club to that stadium when the Rams move south to Anaheim after the 1980 season. Irsay said he also was interested in Indianapolis, Phoenix and Memphis.
Jacksonville Mayor Jake Godbold said he is "primed and ready" to go to Baltimore and try to bring home the Colts.
Irsay told the Times-Union he would need a guarantee of 65,000 season tickets sold for 10 years, the use of 40 acres of land near the Gator Bowl for training and office facilities, a percentage of concession and parking revenues and assurance of a profitable radio network.