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SBD/27/Leagues Governing Bodies
TAGLIABUE TESTIFIES IN ST. LOUIS ON RELOCATION FEE
Published October 27, 1997
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue testified via video Friday in the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission's $130M antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, according to William Lhotka of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Tagliabue "admitted" that he "refused to tell team owners before a crucial vote in March 1995 that the Rams were offering the league" $25M to relocate to St. Louis. NFL owners voted against the move at that meeting, but a month later approved it after the Rams "agreed to pay" $46M and "had made other promises" on future revenue. Tagliabue "gave a variety of reasons for refusing" to tell owners of the team's offer. Commission attorney Alan Popkin "suggested" that Tagliabue, by not informing league owners, wanted to "get more money from the Rams and St. Louis." In other news, Tagliabue "first denied, then admitted that he was the primary author of nine so-called relocation guidelines adopted" in '84. He added that the Rams didn't meet the guidelines when their move was approved, "but that the owners had used their own business judgements as the criteria." Tagliabue is expected to testify live when the NFL offers its case (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/25).