Redskin owner Jack Kent Cooke says he has been approached by two groups interested in building a domed stadium midway between Baltimore and Washington that would house the Redskins, Orioles and Colts. Cooke said he told the groups that the club might consider moving to such a proposed facility, but only after its current RFK Stadium lease expires in 1990.
Cooke said both groups are seeking commitments from all three teams before proceeding with separate plans. Cooke said at least one of the groups wants to build the facility near Interstate Rte. 95, which connects the two cities. tThe other group reportedly is considering the Bowie area.
Although there have been numerous signs that a domed stadium between the cities was being proposed, this was the first indication that the idea is being seriously considered by backers. Cooke said that one group wants to construct a stadium that would seat 74,000; the other is talking about a 70,000-capacity facility.
"These are responsible, reputable people," said Cooke, who declined to name representatives of the groups. "And we listened to them when they talked to us. You'd be a damn fool not to. A domed stadium is a very attractive idea, a very good one and there has been an awful lot of talk about one being built lately.
"We have a long time to go before our lease runs out and I don't believe in breaking contracts or leases. We have no plans to leave RFK Stadium now, and my inclination is to stay where we are. The received no commitment from us. All we did was listen." RFK Stadium, which holds 55,000 for football games, is one of the smallest stadiums in the NFL.
Edward Bennett Williams, owner of the Orioles, said he has not been approached by any group "that I could give credence to, as far as having the financial substance to build a domed stadium."
But, he added: "We would have an interest in any dome proposal in which we can house football and baseball together and protect against inclement weather. c
"We are approached all the time by persons who have ideas for stadiums and sports arenas, usually on the periphery of Baltimore."
Both the Colts and Orioles play at Memorial Stadium. The Orioles have a year-to-year lease arrangement; the Colts' lease runs out this season. The Colts are negotiating with the city for a new 15-year lease, and until that pact is signed, $22 million earmarked by the state legislature to rehabilitate the stadium has been held up.
Irsay is demanding changes in the current lease arrangement that would ease the Colts' financial burden. The city has agreed to use the rehabilitation money to add 13,000 seats, construct "skyboxes,"[TEXT OMITTED]
Memorial Stadium, which seats about 55,000 for baseball and 63,000 for football, is an aging facility with parking problems. Williams, who has been linked with earlier talk about a new stadium, both as a possible tenant and owner, has expressed dissatisfaction with the current ballpark.