Saturday, July 26, 2014
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Judge: Eagles Owe City $3 Million In Skybox Money

A Common Pleas Court judge just ruled that the city owes the Philadelphia Eagles $5 million for a 2001 preseason game at Veteran's Stadium that was canceled due to problems with the playing surface. Senior Judge Albert Sheppard Jr. ruled last week that the Eagles owe the city $8 million in revenue from skyboxes in the 2000 and 2001 seasons at the former stadium. That means the long dispute, which resulted in dueling lawsuits in 2004, has been settled with the city to receive $3 million from the team.

Judge: Eagles Owe City $3 Million In Skybox Money

A Common Pleas Court judge just ruled that the city owes the Philadelphia Eagles $5 million for a 2001 preseason game at Veteran's Stadium that was canceled due to problems with the playing surface.  Senior Judge Albert Sheppard Jr. ruled last week that the Eagles owe the city $8 million in revenue from skyboxes in the 2000 and 2001 seasons at the former stadium.  That means the long dispute, which resulted in dueling lawsuits in 2004, has been settled with the city to receive $3 million from the team.

"I'm definitely pleased that the matter has concluded," said Mayor Nutter, calling the whole matter "unfortunate" while praising the team as a great corporate citizen.  The case turned nasty in March when the Eagles went to court, claiming they had a previously undisclosed deal with then-Mayor John Street to settle the dispute for less than $1 million.  The team had said the missed preseason game cost the team $8 million, the exact amount the city said it was owed for the skyboxes. Street denied that he had approved a secret deal, saying he would have demanded it be put in writing if that had happened.

The city and the team started negotiating a deal after that dust-up.  An attorney for the Eagles last week said the team expected Sheppard to rule this week that the city owed the Eagles between $5 million and $8 million, based on the recent negotiations.  "The judge has determined that it is fair," Nutter said when asked what he thought of the settlement. "I'm satisfied with that.  The matter is over."

In the March court filing, the Eagles said they had hoped a quiet deal with Street's administration would help the team avoid "negative publicity" from the dispute.  That didn't happen.  Eagles spokeswoman Pamela Browner Crawley this morning said the team is glad to be done with the court battle.  "While it wasn’t the easiest decision to make, we wanted to come to a conclusion," Crawley said. "So this is exactly where we wanted to be."

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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