Raiders Tackle Double Standard

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, on the stand for a full day in the case of the Oakland Raiders vs. the NFL, said Wednesday that the league sought to move a second team into a proposed stadium at Hollywood Park at the same time the Raiders would have been playing there.

Asked by Raider attorney Joseph Alioto if any other team has had such a condition imposed on it, Tagliabue said, "No."

Building on a key Raider theme in the complicated case, that the NFL treats the Raiders differently than other teams, Alioto also pointed out that the league proposal would have allowed the second team to leave the Hollywood Park site after five years--meaning it could play at a state-of-the-art stadium while building its own facility.

Compare that, Alioto said, to what would have awaited the Raiders through construction of a stadium at Hollywood Park. He asked Tagliabue: "So for two years, the Raiders [would have been] required to play in some inadequate stadium [in L.A.], each one of which you believed to be inadequate, is that right?"

"Yes," Tagliabue said.

NFL attorney Allen Ruby is expected today to get his turn to question Tagliabue and try to rebut Raider assertions.

The case centers on Raider allegations that the league interfered with a 1995 deal to build a stadium at Hollywood Park, leaving the Raiders with no option but to return to Oakland. Despite leaving, the Raiders also claim they still own the L.A. market for NFL football. The team is seeking more than $1 billion in damages. The NFL denies any wrongdoing.

Tagliabue is likely to remain on the stand through Friday, followed by Carolina Panther owner Jerry Richardson.

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