BALTIMORE — Surviving family members of late former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell, claim the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric is planning on dropping their name.
The family says they were told the name of the building would go up for sale and to the highest bidder.
More than a decade ago, Art and his wife Patricia reportedly pledged to donate $3.5 million to the Lyric over an extended period of time.
It is the largest contribution ever made to the Lyric, at a time when they were struggling to stay afloat.
In return, the Modell's say they were told the Lyric would permanently carry their names.
But as the final installment was about to be paid, the Modell's say they were notified by Lyric executives of plans to remove the name, unless the family agreed to continue its contributions.
"We are shocked and disappointed by this development. The actions of the Lyric executives and board have deeply hurt our family and dishonor the memory and generosity of our parents," said John Modell and Michel Modell in a statement.
When the Modell's balked at the idea, they say the Lyric instead offered to put up a plaque or portrait of Art and Patricia somewhere in the building, as long as the family paid for it.
"This is far from what Pat and Art were told when they stepped forward to help the Lyric and should serve as a warning to any individuals who are asked to support it," said the Modell's.
WMAR-2 News has reached out to the Lyric. Thus far we've received no response.