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SBD/23/Leagues Governing Bodies
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: DAVIS BACK IN COURT AGAINST THE NFL
Published October 23, 1997
Testimony was heard yesterday from Raiders Owner Al Davis in the $130M antitrust suit filed by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission against the NFL, according to William Lhotka of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Davis described the NFL's dealings during the team's relocation as "extortion," adding, "It wasn't until St. Louis came up with a lot more money that the deal to St. Louis was approved." Davis' testimony, which was read to a jury, "contained some of the strongest comments yet against the NFL." Under cross-examination, Davis admitted the league has a right to determine the number of expansion teams and their date of entry into the league. But "he insisted the league has no authority to block an existing franchise from moving." Testimony was also heard yesterday from Cardinals Owner Bill Bidwill, who said he paid a $7.5M relocation fee when he moved his team to AZ. But he said that he had "no idea how that figure was reached." 49ers President Carmen Policy said that the Rams' relocation fee of $29M was the "result of negotiations between the Rams and the league, not from a set formula" (POST-DISPATCH, 10/23).