Tagliabue's letter to Cleveland's mayor Dear Mayor White: THE BROWNS' MOVE TO BALTIMORE

November 07, 1995

This will summarize my advice to you in our meeting yesterday with respect to the League's bylaw provision on team moves and the process this office must follow under our League policy to evaluate a proposed team relocation. A copy of this policy is enclosed.

Under the League's bylaws, the relocation of a team from its existing home territory can only take place if approved by a vote of three-fourths of the League's members (23 of 30).

It is my responsibility as commissioner to conduct an in-depth review of the Browns' proposed move and to report to the membership at a special League meeting. This meeting will likely be held in mid-January. The membership's vote will take account of my report and the League's policy standards for team moves.

In this process, Cleveland will be granted the opportunity to present its position to the League, including meeting with League committees.

Among the many factors to be considered will be the adequacy of the current stadium and the willingness of public and private parties to commit financial support to provide a competitive facility.

As we discussed, I wish to voice my strong support for your efforts regarding tomorrow's Cuyahoga County vote to permit a 10-year extension on the tax of alcohol and tobacco. Obviously, this funding is critical to establishing a state-of-the-art facility and the future of professional football in Cleveland.

Today's announcement by the Browns will certainly be met with a variety of emotions by the citizens of Cleveland. However, I urge you, the voters of Cuyahoga County, and all Browns fans to proceed in a positive manner with tomorrow's tax referendum.

The NFL deeply respects the fan support it has received in Cleveland for many decades, and we strongly hope that you and other authorities can establish the conditions necessary to continue the NFL's presence in Cleveland.

We look forward to working with you as we address this issue of great importance to your citizens and the National Football League.

Sincerely,

Paul Tagliabue.

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