The Indianapolis Colts and the City of Baltimore have come to a tentative agreement that would end all pending lawsuits between them, Mayor William Donald Schaefer announced yesterday in Baltimore.
The Colts left Baltimore in March 1984 to play in Indianapolis, and suits and countersuits were filed. Team owner Robert Irsay also enraged Baltimore fans by taking Colts equipment, property and memorabilia to Indianapolis.
Schaefer said the Colts agreed to pay Baltimore $400,000 in legal fees (the city spent approximately $800,000 over the two-year period); the city will be allowed to purchase the Colts' training facility and its 100 acres of grounds in Owings Mills from Irsay for $4.6 million dollars; the city will receive all the memorabilia associated with former players from the Baltimore years; and the Colts will endorse a Baltimore franchise in the NFL, if the league moves to expand and extend the city the opportunity of a franchise before 1989.
The mayor requested that the team relinquish the name of Colts but was not optimistic on that score.
"These terms are not negotiable. This is it," Schaefer said. "We will submit this agreement to the Board of Estimates and the City Council today . . . We have a time limit of three weeks to comply with the decision."
Schaefer said if the terms stand, he will offer the Owings Mills facility to the USFL Baltimore Stars to use.