Opinion and Order
MARSH, District Judge:
The plaintiff commenced a civil anti-trust suit against the defendants requesting an injunction, a jury trial for treble damages, and alleging a conspiracy in violation of the anti-trust laws to bar him from player membership in the National Basketball Association. The alleged conspiracy began in November, 1963, and the plaintiff claims he sustained financial injury through the defendants' violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, §§ 1 and 2, in that during the period prior to suit he has been deprived of his earning power as a professional basketball player. Cf. Radovich v. Nat. Football League, 352 U.S. 445, 1 L. Ed. 2d 456, 77 S. Ct. 390 (1957); Nichols v. Spencer International Press, Inc., 371 F.2d 332 (7th Cir. 1967).
The matter presently before the court is the motion of the defendants, supported by two affidavits, to dismiss for lack of proper venue.
Since the plaintiff has the burden of proving that venue is properly laid, ample time was given him to file counter-affidavits and take limited depositions or interrogatories to procure such proof. Since the anti-trust venue statutes are phrased in the present tense, it must be shown that the movants transacted business or were doing business in this district contemporaneously with the time of service, i.e., November 3, 1966, and with the time the cause of action arose, i.e., November, 1963 to November 3, 1966. Cf. 1 Barron and Holtzoff, Federal Practice and Procedure, § 80 (Supp. 1967). Although the facts relevant to venue are unusual, it is the opinion of the court that plaintiff has met his burden of proof that venue was properly laid as to all movants, except the Chicago Professional Basketball Corporation (Chicago), owner of the Chicago Bulls.
The depositions, interrogatories, affidavits, complaint averments, and admissions of counsel have been considered. They disclose that plaintiff is a citizen of Pennsylvania; that the National Basketball Association (Association) is an unincorporated joint venture consisting of ten members, n4 having its principal place of business in New York; that J. Walter Kennedy is its Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer (formerly its President); and that the Association and Kennedy were properly served with process in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the 3rd day of November, 1966, the day suit was filed. The Association is governed by a Board of Governors consisting of 10 individuals, each being an officer of a member of the venture. Eight of the defendant members of the Association n5 is a corporation having its own officers and directors who manage its affairs; each owns and operates a basketball team, and two of them are also engaged in other substantial businesses, unrelated to basketball. The members are:
Owner's Name Team Name Incorporated in
1. Cincinnati Basketball Cincinnati Royals Ohio
2. Zollner Corporation Indiana (pricipal
(Zollner) Detroit Pistons office in Michigan)
3. California Sports,
Incorporated (California) Los Angeles Lakers California
4. Madison Square Garden New York Michigan
Corporation (Madison) Knickerbockers (principal office
New York, New York)
5. Riko Enterprises,
Inc. (Riko) Philadelphia '76ers Pennsylvania
6. St. Louis Hawks
Basketball Club, Inc.
(St. Louis) St. Louis Hawks Missouri
7. The Chicago
Corporation Chicago Bulls Illinois
8. The Baltimore Bullets
Basketball Club, Inc.
(Baltimore) Baltimore Bullets Maryland
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.