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Hamilton County joins suit against Bengals, NFL


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Thought you guys should know about this.. It's from the Cincy Enquirer...

Hamilton County is joining a federal antitrust lawsuit against the Cincinnati Bengals and the National Football League.

The county commissioners voted 2-0 Wednesday to join the lawsuit initiated by Commissioner Todd Portune almost a year ago. It alleges that the Bengals and the NFL abused their status as a monopoly to extort a new stadium and favorable lease out of Hamilton County.

Paul Brown Stadium opened in August 2000 at a cost of $450 million - largely paid for with a half-cent increase in the county sales tax.

"I've always felt that as bad as this lease is, we're stuck with it," Commissioner Phil Heimlich said. "But Judge (Arthur) Spiegel's well-written opinion indicates that isn't the case."

In an 81-page ruling on Feb. 9, U.S. District Judge Spiegel refused to dismiss the suit. He also allowed Hamilton County resident Carrie Davis to replace Portune as the plaintiff - clearing the way, Portune said, for him to vote Wednesday. Portune also withdrew a similar suit he had filed in state court.

Commissioner John Dowlin left Wednesday's meeting before the vote was taken, saying he had a previous appointment.

Bengals attorney, Stuart Dornette, said the lawsuit against the team and the NFL is "completely without merit."

"There was a full hearing of the issues, a public vote and a decision was made to (build the stadium)," Dornette said.

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Heh heh heh. There must be days (like today) that the other NFL owners would really like to introduce Mikey to the business end of a howitzer. Whether the NFL eventually wins or loses this suit, I have predicted and continue to predict it will queer every future stadium deal (by making them less profitable for the owners), something that will not endear Mikey to his fellow owners. Of course, discomfiting a bunch of multimillionaires doesn't cost me a wink of sleep... ;)

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