Blame politics for the Baltimore Colts’ move

Christopher Gunty wrote an excellent editorial “Super ad meets super hypocrisy Sunday” (CR, Feb. 4), but must correct something he wrote in the last sentence.

The present Colts team is not the one that abandoned our city; that team is long gone from the game. The Baltimore Colts played in Memorial Stadium, a facility that was old in design and smaller than modern football stadia.

The team owner at that time, Robert Irsay, was viewed by many as a buffoon, prone to drunkenness, but he was a smart, successful businessman. The Colts in Memorial Stadium would not generate the revenue needed to attract star players. Irsay wanted a new, larger stadium, with skyboxes. The city was unable, and the state was unwilling to build a new stadium, so Irsay refused to sign a long-term lease.

The final blow came when the Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill to seize the team under “Eminent Domain” and sent it to the Senate for consideration. Within two days, the Colts were gone. Who can blame Irsay? He likely would have had to spend millions of dollars to fight the law in court, with no assurance of prevailing. Blame the politicians.

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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.