ANNAPOLIS – State Treasurer Richard N. Dixon wants generations of football fans to be reminded of him when they walk into the Ravens stadium at Camden Yards.
The plaque now adorning the north entrance won’t do the trick, Dixon said Wednesday. It needs to be bigger. And his name needs to be bigger.
The stadium cost $223 million, and “they probably spent $50 on the plaque,” Dixon said at a meeting of the Maryland Board of Public Works. “We (the board) approved the stadium, we took the flack,” he said. “It’s important that people see the plaque.”
What Dixon wants, Dixon will get, said Bruce H. Hoffman, executive director of the Maryland Stadium Authority. “He instructed us to do it; it will be done,” Hoffman said after the meeting.
Kathleen Skullney, executive director of the citizens’ watchdog group Common Cause/Maryland, said in a telephone interview the decision “sadly illustrates priorities.” She added, “How on earth does this help the public?”
The existing bronze plaque, which measures 2 feet square and has letters about a half-inch tall, cost $2,000, not $50, Hoffman said. To replace it with a plaque about double the size, as Dixon is requesting, could cost another $4,000, he said.
The plaque has a Ravens logo on it and an outline of the state of Maryland. Underneath each logo are names of those who helped get the stadium built, including members of the Board of Public Works, on which Dixon sits. The other two members of the board are the governor and state comptroller.
Money for a new plaque would come from the stadium authority, which gets revenue from sources that include Maryland lotteries and stadium parking, Hoffman said.
Dixon compared the plaque at the stadium to the reminder he will have of his great-great grandfather, Abraham Jones. Jones was a Union soldier in the Civil War who served in the 39th Regiment. He is one of 202,148 African-American soldiers whose names will be engraved on the wall surrounding the African- American Civil War Memorial in Northwest Washington.
Don Vandrey, a spokesman for Gov. Parris N. Glendening, said the board concurred with Dixon on the plaque flap because the issue is important to the treasurer.
“It was Dixon’s issue, and the board accommodates its members,” Vandrey said. -30-