from NFL Lockout.com.....
A 44-member group of elected officials and business owners filed an amicus brief in support of the players on Tuesday, stating that a federal court made the correct decision to order an injunction to lift the lockout.Summary of Argument (taken directly from the brief)
The group is comprised of 32 elected officials who represent states and localities that host NFL teams or that otherwise depend on NFL-driven revenues and the proprietors of local businesses that depend on game day for their financial survival.
The brief points out that it is in the public interest for the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the federal court’s ruling to end the owner-imposed lockout. The brief also cites several economic studies provided by NFL teams that prove how important NFL games are to local economies.
The district court correctly concluded that the public interest weighs overwhelmingly in favor of enjoining the NFL’s lockout. Likewise, this Court’s opinion granting the NFL’s motion for a stay pending appeal correctly recognized that “the public interest surely favors” a result “that will permit professional football to be played in 2011.” Stay Order 13. But we respectfully submit that this Court erred in preliminarily concluding that the public-interest prong of the preliminary injunction test did not point decidedly in favor of upholding the district court’s injunction.
The public-interest prong does not reduce to an abstract interest in “the proper application of the federal law regarding injunctions.” Stay Order 13. That approach would render the public-interest prong entirely duplicative of the court’s
evaluation of the plaintiff’s likelihood of success on the merits—one could always say that the public has an interest in getting the law right. Rather, the public- interest prong must encompass the concrete and specific interests of those who are not parties to the proceeding. That is particularly true where, as here, the dispute turns on whether the law permits one side of a business dispute to idle a multi- billion-dollar economic engine that touches every corner of this nation in order to gain (by that party’s own admission) negotiating leverage. This injunction is about far more than the paychecks of the players or the fortunes of the owners; it is also about the livelihoods of the business owners whose livelihoods depend on NFL game day and the taxpayers and elected officials who have committed their scarce resources to the NFL enterprise.
Those broader economic implications all counsel overwhelmingly in favor of enjoining the NFL’s lockout. The NFL is a multi-billion-dollar business, with a significant economic impact on the markets in which its teams are located. In addition to employing workers directly, the NFL’s teams also drive business for hotels, restaurants, bars, and other service industries. As a result, the NFL’s lockout threatens the livelihood of thousands of American workers.
A lockout would also deprive state and local governments of substantial tax revenues that are generated by the league’s operations. Such losses could not come at a worse time, when state and local budgets are already stretched to the
breaking point. Adding insult to injury, much of the NFL financial juggernaut was assembled with hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer support in the form of stadium financing and ongoing operating agreements. Surely the public interest weighs strongly against allowing the NFL to padlock the stadium doors that were purchased with taxpayer dollars on the understanding that they would remain open for business.
Finally, there is an intangible—but nonetheless substantial—public interest in favor of playing the 2011 NFL season, because so many Americans are fans of the sport. Although not as weighty as the two interests discussed above, this Court’s public-interest analysis should take into account the substantial harmful effects that would flow from permitting the unilateral cancellation of what has become the national pastime. The NFL has earned substantial profits making professional football part of our social fabric, but with such rewards come equally weighty responsibilities to the American public.