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ST. LOUIS CASE TO BEGIN AS JURY SELECTION COMPLETED
Published October 7, 1997
The antitrust suit by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission against the NFL is "set to begin today after 12 jurors were quickly picked Monday from a block of 116," according to William Lhotka of the ST. LOUIS POST- DISPATCH. NFL Senior VP/Communications Joe Browne: "Do we have concerns? Some of the prospective jurors said they didn't think we could get a fair trial. But the ones who were picked said they could be fair and impartial." Lhotka reports that "most of the jurors said they had heard news reports" that the Rams paid a $29M relocation fee to the NFL when they moved to St. Louis, "one of the major issues in the case" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/7). The Convention and Visitors Commission offered to drop its lawsuit in exchange for a Super Bowl and $50-100M, according to sources of both sides cited by Josh Gotthelf of the ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The offer was made about three weeks ago and the NFL refused to offer a Super Bowl as settlement. Gotthelf adds that while the relocation fee was the "last straw," the "main allegation in the suit is that the NFL didn't allow St. Louis to court" a football team in "a free market system" (BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/6). GET SHORTY: USA TODAY's Gordon Forbes reports that NFL owners will discuss shortening the preseason at its fall meetings in Washington, DC, next week. One plan advocates shortening the preseason to four weeks, instead of the current five, and has the league considering "booking its own schedule," not the teams, "to equalize preseason revenues" (USA TODAY, 10/7).