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SBD/31/Leagues Governing Bodies
IN ST. LOUIS V. NFL, SHAW TALKS OF GHOULISH PRESSURE ON CITY
Published October 31, 1997
Rams President John Shaw testified on behalf of the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission in its antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, according to Tim O'Neil of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Shaw said that the team "won a rich financial deal" because the league's policy against franchise relocations put St. Louis at a "huge disadvantage" in bargaining. Shaw: "I felt St. Louis was at a huge disadvantage. If they wanted a team, if they wanted the Rams, they basically had to give in to our terms." Shaw said that he told St. Louis officials that getting the Rams would be "costly." Shaw: "For the Rams to move, the deal would have to be incredibly lucrative for us." Shaw added that at the time of the team's relocation from Anaheim, the league "proposed charging the Rams as much" as $100M. He said that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue told him the $7.5M relocation fee that the city of St. Louis was willing to pay "wouldn't be enough ... because the NFL television contract had more than doubled in value since 1988." Shaw also said that "several other team owners told him they were afraid to move because of league pressures." Shaw will continue to testify today (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/31).