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SBD/17/Leagues Governing Bodies
VICTOR KIAM TAKES THE STAND IN ST. LOUIS V. THE NFL
Published October 17, 1997
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).