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WASHINGTON FILES SUIT AGAINST BEHRING TO KEEP SEAHAWKS
Published February 15, 1996
The state of WA has filed an antitrust suit against Seahawks Owner Ken Behring. The suit contends he violated state and federal antitrust laws in moving the team to L.A. and that "Washington's economy and public welfare would be harmed." ESPN later reported that state officials have estimates that the economic impact of the loss of the team is around $100M ("SportsCenter," 2/14). King County Exec Gary Locke: "This lawsuit today by the Attorney General's office tightens this community's grip on its football team" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 2/14). WA Atty General Christine Gregoire said the lawsuit did not seek monetary damages, but she held put the possibility the state could ask for more than $3B from Behring. In L.A., Behring's lawyer, Bill Temko, called it "just another step in a political barrage to vilify Mr. Behring" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 2/15). WHY THE LONG FACE? In an interview with the LONG BEACH PRESS-TELEGRAM, Behring said he is "perplexed by the cool reception he has been given in Los Angeles." Behring: "Normally, when a NFL team moves to a new city, that city gets behind it. But that certainly hasn't been the case since we decided to move to L.A." He expressed confidence they would play in L.A., but he added, "It could get to a point where there is so much opposition that I'll say, 'The heck with it,' and go in another direction. Life is just too short to put up with all this stuff" (LONG BEACH PRESS TELEGRAM /PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 2/15). In L.A., Mike Downey writes recent words from NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue have him "convinced" the Seahawks will stay in Seattle. Downey "strongly suspects" Cleveland and L.A. will be the NFL's expansion franchises in '99 (L.A. TIMES, 2/14). AD HOC: The L.A. City Council will form a committee to lure a football team to L.A. and broaden the panel to include members of other key local groups, according to the L.A. TIMES. The council panel will be called the "Ad Hoc Sports Franchise Committee" and will negotiate for other pro teams. The expanded committee will include members of the Coliseum Commission, the mayor's staff and the L.A. Convention and Visitors Bureau (L.A. TIMES, 2/14).