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FORMER SENATOR TOM EAGLETON TALKS TOUGH ON NFL TO LOCAL JURY
Published October 9, 1997
Former U.S. Senator Thomas Eagleton "sparred for more than two hours" Wednesday with NFL attorney Frank Rothman over league guidelines and the Rams' move from California to St. Louis, according to William Lhotka of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The testimony came during the third day of the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission's (CVC) $130M antitrust suit against the NFL. Eagleton is the former head of FANS, Inc., which led the drive to lure the Rams, and is "a key witness" for the CVC. Eagleton said the reason NFL owners rejected to team's move in March of '95 and approved it a month later was the agreement to pay a $29M relocation fee and make other concessions. Eagleton: "M-O-N-E-Y, that's what changed the decision between the two meetings, money." But under cross examination, the NFL's Rothman questioned Eagleton about his role in supporting legislation while a U.S. Senator that would have exempted the NFL and other pro sports from antitrust laws, which would have "set guidelines for team relocation that are nearly identical to the guidelines now on NFL books." Eagleton said he introduced that measure to prevent Bill Bidwill, Owner of NFL's St. Louis Cardinals, from moving to Arizona. In other news, Judge Jean Hamilton "agreed to a key defense request -- that the jury not hear any evidence about relocation fees or other issues relating to three other NFL team moves. The judge ruled that because these moves took place after the Rams moved to St. Louis, they aren't part of the trial." U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt also testified and said that he initiated contact with the Rams in early '94 about moving (POST-DISPATCH, 10/9).