Field of Schemes
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August 27, 2008

Baltimore seeks developers for tenantless arena

The city of Baltimore has issued an RFP for a developer to build a new downtown arena on the site of the 46-year-old Baltimore Arena, with the goal of luring more concerts, and possibly an NBA or NHL team. Construction is projected to cost $300 million, with city officials saying they hope for "maximum private financial support" for the project - which is presumably a nice way of saying, "We don't really know if anyone will be foolish enough to put private money into this, but it doesn't hurt to ask."

The more worrying thing, of course, is that Baltimore is talking about build an arena "on spec" before landing a sports tenant, which means they're positioning themselves to be either the next city to be used as a blackmail threat and then abandoned by an existing team, or have to pay through the nose to get a team to relocate, once owners realize they have the city over a barrel. Apparently, David Hannum was right.

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