By RICHARD A. WILKINSAPAPAP reporterAssociated PressStaff writerAn Indianapolis sports franchise could be in jeopardy if the NFL does not grant the Indianapolis Colts permission to hold its annual draft.
The league is expected to vote Monday to allow the team to host its draft, which has not happened since 2003.
The Indianapolis Colts have not held a draft since the NFL relocated to Indianapolis in 1968, but the franchise has staged a draft every year since 1983.
The Colts also hosted the first draft in 2007.
The team has not held the draft since 2003 because of the financial constraints imposed by the NFL’s labor deal with the players union.
The labor agreement with the NFL includes a provision that prevents any franchise from hosting the draft if it is under contract with a team that does not allow the franchise to host.
But the league has refused to grant that exception.
The NFL has said the Colts could not be permitted to hold the draft in Indianapolis because of a labor agreement.
The AFL-CIO, which represents about 12 million players in the NFL, and the Players Association filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday, alleging that the league did not give Colts permission.
The union’s lawsuit said that the NFL did not make clear that the franchise would not be able to host the draft unless the league granted the Colts permission for the draft.
The suit also said that any other team in the league’s Central Division could host the event if the league denied the request.
The Colts were scheduled to host their draft Tuesday.
The league has not announced when the draft is expected.
The teams that have hosted the draft have met twice each year since 2001, when the team was a member of the AFL-NFL Players Association.
But each year the teams met only twice.
The current Colts’ draft is scheduled for Aug. 23 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
The franchise has played at the stadium since 1992.
The team also has hosted the 2016 draft at a nearby indoor stadium in Phoenix.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.