Reports say that an antitrust suit claiming officials and taxpayers were pushed into financing a new stadium to keep the Bengals in Cincinnati was filed too late. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel all agreed with a federal district judge who dismissed the suit filed by Hamilton County against the Bengals and the NFL because it was not filed within a four-year statute of limitations.
County voters had approved a half-cent sales tax hike back in 1996 for the $450 million Paul Brown Stadium, which opened in 2000. A 30-year lease was signed back in 1997. The antitrust lawsuit was filed in 03. By dismissing the suit, the courts didn’t specifically rule on the county officials’ claims that they were victimized by monopoly power. Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton wrote that the court didn’t need to decide whether there is an antitrust problem with the NFL’s control on its number of teams and cities.
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