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SBD/7/Leagues Governing Bodies
TAGLIABUE TESTIFIES OVER TWO DAYS IN ST. LOUIS CASE
Published November 7, 1997
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue testified Tuesday and Wednesday in the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission's (CVC) $130M antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. On Tuesday, Tagliabue said that neither he nor league officials had any meetings with the commission, "nor played any role in terms the Rams and the commission ultimately reached" regarding the team's relocation fee from Anaheim. Tagliabue said he only dealt with Rams President John Shaw in negotiating a $29M relocation fee. Tagliabue added that he "wrote" the league's nine relocation guidelines and "conceded that the rule requiring three-fourths approval of league owners for a team to move could be construed as a restraint of trade" (POST-DISPATCH, 11/5). Under cross examination on Wednesday, Tagliabue said that the $20M the CVC paid to get the Rams went to "low-income" NFL teams to pay their bills, according to William Lhotka of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Tagliabue was "questioned for several hours" by CVC attorney Alan Popkin, "who was trying to show the jury that the NFL's fee assessments were arbitrary and part of a pattern of restraint of trade." The trial is expected to resume on Monday (POST-DISPATCH, 11/6).