Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has campaigned for school to start after Labor Day, and teamed up with Gov. Hogan on air conditioning in schools. The latest issue he is wading into is what should happen at the State Center site in Baltimore.
On Thursday, Hogan announced the state is scrapping a stalled plan to develop the site near the middle of Baltimore. That leaves the question of what should go there. Franchot wants a study to see whether it is feasible to build a new arena that could house an NBA and/or NHL team.
“I believe it’s a major league city, and I believe that major league cities deserve major league franchises that generate jobs, economic growth, and tax revenue, while transforming neighborhoods and small businesses that are now struggling to survive,” Franchot wrote.
Hogan said an arena is among the options that would be considered. But it’s something that others have explored. Most recently, The Cordish Cos. floated a proposal for a new 15,000 seat arena closer to the waterfront. A group of developers have also submitted proposals in the past at some of Baltimore’s recent development sites, according to this Baltimore Business Journal timeline. Building at the State Center site is the latest idea. The city has Royal Farms Arena, which is set to house an Arena Football League team, but the officials say a bigger, newer arena is needed to attract an NBA or NHL team.
“We have seen, both here in Maryland and elsewhere in the region, how professional sports can transform local economies and communities,” Franchot said.
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