Protesters cry foul over Eagles

March 5, 2009 8:21:41 PM PST
A dispute between the Philadelphia Eagles and the city over money, and plenty of it. ACORN shattered the quiet outside the Main Line mansion of Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie.

They want him to cough up the $8-million, the city of Philadelphia says it is owed by the Eagles.

The money represents superbox revenue from Eagles games at Veterans Stadium.

The city has sued the Eagles, and the Eagles have countersued.

They claim they lost at least that much when they had to cancel a 2001 preseason game because of dangerous artificial turf at the city-owned stadium.

The city wants its money, especially now as it contemplates painful budget cuts. "The city is facing its second $1-billion deficit in five years, and some would say 8-million is not a lot of money, but as the mayor always says, where he comes from, $8-billion is a lot of money," Doug Oliver, the Mayor's spokesman, said.

Jeff Lurie wasn't home as the protesters staged a mock tailgate party. He was also unavailable for comment.

But, the Eagles released a statement saying, "The city has owed the Eagles some money since August of 2001. It is up to the judge to determine the amount."

The protesters taped a payment past due notice to the gate outside Lurie's estate.

One of them, an Eagles fan, brought along the latest bill for his game tickets.

"I'm a season ticketholder for 26 years; if I don't make this payment on time, I'm out," Dan Crosby of Cinnaminson, New Jersey, said.

Both sides say they're anxious to get this thing settled, but the judge is still reviewing the play in the booth.

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