TAGLIABUE TESTIFIES IN ST. LOUIS ON RELOCATION FEE
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue testified via video
Friday in the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission's
$130M antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, according to William
Lhotka of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Tagliabue "admitted"
that he "refused to tell team owners before a crucial vote in
March 1995 that the Rams were offering the league" $25M to
relocate to St. Louis. NFL owners voted against the move at
that meeting, but a month later approved it after the Rams
"agreed to pay" $46M and "had made other promises" on future
revenue. Tagliabue "gave a variety of reasons for refusing"
to tell owners of the team's offer. Commission attorney Alan
Popkin "suggested" that Tagliabue, by not informing league
owners, wanted to "get more money from the Rams and St.
Louis." In other news, Tagliabue "first denied, then
admitted that he was the primary author of nine so-called
relocation guidelines adopted" in '84. He added that the
Rams didn't meet the guidelines when their move was approved,
"but that the owners had used their own business judgements
as the criteria." Tagliabue is expected to testify live when
the NFL offers its case (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/25).