Herbert Better Represents Baltimore Blast Owner in Advertising Rights Victory Over Local Landowners Led By Orioles Owner
After a five-year battle, the owner of the Baltimore Blast, represented by Zuckerman Spaeder LLP’s Baltimore managing partner Herbert Better, assisted by Zuckerman partner, P. Andrew Torrez, has won a major victory that allows the professional soccer team to receive revenue from billboards on the 1st Mariner Arena. Mr. Better has represented private parties Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc, Arena Ventures LLC, and SMG in this case since a 2003 zoning challenge filed by a group of local land owners led by Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos. Mr. Better’s co-counsel in this case was the Baltimore City Solicitor’s Office, which represented the interests of the mayor and city council.
Across the country, as an important financial incentive to retain their professional sports teams, it is commonplace for cities to permit the team owners to place general advertising signs on the stadium or arena and to share in the revenue from the advertising. In fact, just a few blocks away from the 1st Mariner Arena, at Camden Yards the Orioles receive revenue from general advertising on the stadium. After five years of struggling with complicated jurisdictional matters, consideration by the Court of Special Appeals twice, and consideration by the Court of Appeals, the case finally proceeded on the merits in August 2008. After a September hearing, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on December 29, 2008, decided in favor of Mr. Better’s clients and the Mayor and City Council.