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SBD/15/Leagues Governing Bodies
NFL V. ST. LOUIS CVC: FORMER LEAGUE EXEC TESTIFIES ON FEES
Published October 15, 1997
In the second week of the St. Louis Convention and Visitor Commission's (CVC) $130M antitrust suit against the NFL, CVC lawyers "tried to prove that the league has acted arbitrarily and inconsistently in charging relocation fees," according to William Lhotka of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. On Tuesday, the jury watched a videotape interview of former NFL Exec VP/General Counsel Jay Moyer explaining the league's process in determining fees for previously relocated teams. He testified that the Raiders and Colts did not have to pay a fee when they relocated during the early 80s, but that the NFL levied a fee against Cardinals Owner Bill Bidwill when he moved from St. Louis to Phoenix in '88. Lhotka adds that Bidwill's fee was paid "more than three years after the league approved the move," and the $7.5M he paid "was the result of negotiations with the NFL, not from a specific formula the league adopted." CVC attorneys argued that the next NFL relocation fee assessed against the Rams was for $46M, $29M up front and $17M over 15 years. The CVC "says the league conspired to force St. Louis into paying too much to get the Rams." During the trial, the NFL has stated that it is "blameless and has accused the Rams of greediness" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/15).