73 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online 1 (2016-2017)

handle is hein.journals/waleelro73 and id is 1 raw text is: 








                             Condemning Clothes:
             The Constitutionality of Taking
   Trademarks in the Professional Sports

                                  Franchise Context


                                           Mitchell D. Diles*

                           Abstract

    The resurgence in franchise free agency in the National
Football League (NFL) potentially implicates the loss of a
significant source of local identity and tradition for multiple
cities. In January 2016, NFL owners approved the relocation of
the Rams franchise from St. Louis, Missouri, to Los Angeles,
California, by a vote of thirty-to-two. The owners' vote also
potentially implicates the relocation of the San Diego Chargers
and the Oakland Raiders. Though applauded by numerous sports
commentators, athletes, and fans, the vote reflects the failure of
negotiations between  the City  of St. Louis and    the Rams
organization. The approval also sets the stage for a           new
generation of controversies over valuable team property. This
includes disputes over team logos and other trademarks.
    Although cities and fans may appear helpless when faced
with franchise relocation, one powerful, although rarely invoked,
point of leverage for local governments is the threat of exercising
eminent domain power. In theory, this action could prevent a team
from relocating. During the 1980s and 1990s, efforts to prevent
professional sports franchises from      moving, which    included
condemnation proceedings initiated by multiple cities, largely
failed. Given the current, broad interpretation of the public use

   *   Candidate for J.D., Washington and Lee University School of Law, May
2017. I am eternally grateful to Professor Christopher Seaman for inspiring this
Note and for his constant guidance and feedback. I would also like to thank the
Washington and Lee Law Review editorial boards for their thoughtful edits and
suggestions. Finally, thank you to my parents, David and Suzanne, for their
enduring love and support in all my endeavors. I owe all my success to them.

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