SBD/17/Leagues Governing Bodies

VICTOR KIAM TAKES THE STAND IN ST. LOUIS V. THE NFL

          Former Patriots Owner Victor Kiam testified yesterday
     in the St. Louis Convention and Visitor Commission's (CVC)
     $130M lawsuit against the NFL, according to Lhotka & O'Neil
     of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH.  Kiam said that between '90
     and '92 he tried three times to move the team but was
     "blocked each time by the NFL."   Kiam claimed that his team
     "met NFL's usual criteria to move: It was losing money and
     fan attendance was declining."   But NFL lawyers "pointed
     during cross-examination to the Patriots' losing record and
     the team's sexual harassment scandal involving a female
     sports writers as reasons for lost fan support."  Kiam said
     league execs prevented him from relocating to Jacksonville,
     San Antonio or Baltimore during his tenure and he said that
     he lost $30M while owning the team.  Kiam: "[NFL]
     Commissioner [Paul] Tagliabue said, 'You don't meet the
     guidelines,' all of which are subjective.  I never had a
     chance."  Under cross examination, Kiam "defended himself in
     a sexual harassment scandal" involving former Boston Herald
     reporter Lisa Olson that began in '90.  Lawyers also noted
     that Kiam inherited a team that went to the Super Bowl in
     the '85 season, went 1-15 during his tenure "and back to the
     Super Bowl last January" and currently has a waiting list
     for season-tickets (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/17).  On
     Wednesday, several NFL owners, on videotaped, gave "varying"
     testimony on "why they voted as they did" in March and April
     of '95 when the Rams' move to St. Louis was first rejected
     and then approved (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/16).

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