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Volume 24 No. 156
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     Former Patriots owner Victor Kiam filed a $450M lawsuit
yesterday against the NFL, "saying it forced him to sell his team
by denying his right to move it to Florida."  The suit, filed in
U.S. District Court in Manhattan, states the NFL and its teams
violated antitrust laws when they kept the Pats "hostage" in
Foxboro, MA.  Named as defendants in the were the NFL and all of
its teams except the Rams, Raiders, 49ers, Saints and Jaguars.
Kiam: "But for the antitrust violation, I would today own a
highly profitable professional football team with a current value
of more than $200 million, even with the current NFL restrictions
on ownership.  With the blocking of the moves, I was forced to
sell a financial ailing Foxboro situation for about $103 million,
an overall loss."  Kiam sold the team in '92 to James Orthwein,
who in turn sold the team to Robert Kraft this year.  The suit
was filed for Kiam by attorney Joseph Alioto, the former San
Francisco mayor who won a $51M award for another former Patriots
owner, Billy Sullivan, by convincing a jury that Sullivan would
not have had to sell the team to Kiam if the league had allowed
him to sell public stock.  That verdict was overturned in
September by a federal appeals court (Larry Neumeister, AP/BOSTON
HERALD, 11/17).  During his tenure as Pats owner, Kiam said he
had offers from groups in Memphis and Jacksonville for more than
$100M, but that his agreement with the NFL "prevented him from
doing so" (Will McDonough, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/17).  According to
the suit, the league rewarded the owners of the Jaguars a with
franchise "only after they agreed to stop negotiating with Kiam
about buying and moving the Patriots" (Colin Miner, N.Y. POST,
11/17).  The suit also alleges that Redskins owner Jack Kent
Cooke told several people, including MD's governor, that he and
the NFL would never permit a team in Baltimore to compete for
fans with the Redskins.  Baltimore is one of the cities listed as
interested in being home to the Pats (AP/HERALD, 11/17).