Eminent Domain and the NFL Playoffs


by Steven Geoffrey Gieseler

This weekend's round of the NFL playoffs will feature a game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts, played in Baltimore.  Part of what makes this matchup interesting is that the Colts resided in Baltimore for the first thirty years of their existence, skipping town in 1984, infamously, under cover of night for their new home in Indiana. 

After over a decade of publicly denouncing the Colts and the city of Indianapolis as pure evil, Baltimore eventually got a new team, stealing the Browns from Cleveland by promising a new stadium and renaming the team the Ravens (illustrating, once again, that outrage so often is a matter of perspective).

What does this have to do with eminent domain?  Well, according to this article, the owner of the Colts now claims that his family didn't ever want to sneak the team out of Baltimore back in 1984, but was forced to do so after the city threatened to seize the team via eminent domain to keep them from moving.