NFL, Los Angeles Rams settle St. Louis lawsuit stemming from 2016 relocation

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scheduled tribe. LOUIS – Stan Kroenke, owner of the NFL and Rams Will pay $790 million to settle the lawsuit Filed by St. Louis Interests on the team’s relocation to Los Angeles, a joint statement by the city and county of St. Louis said Wednesday.

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No details of the settlement were released, and it was not immediately clear how much would be paid by Kroenke and how much would be covered by the owners of the league’s 31 other teams.

“This historic settlement closes a long chapter for our region, securing hundreds of millions of dollars for our communities, while avoiding the uncertainty of the trial and appellate process,” read one Statement from St. Louis Mayor Tisaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page.


Louis-area officials have yet to determine how the settlement funds will be used, the statement said.

Emails from the Associated Press to an NFL spokesperson and lawyers for the league and Kroenke seeking comment were not immediately returned.

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The settlement, reached arbitration, ends a 4 1/2-year lawsuit filed in the wake of Ram’s 2016 departure. Kroenke and the NFL had failed in bids to dismiss the lawsuit or at least move it out of St. pushed for settlement.

The matter was scheduled for hearing on January 10. More than $1 billion was sought in the lawsuit. It claimed that the team’s move cost the St. Louis area millions of dollars in entertainment, ticket and income tax revenue.

Then-owner Georgia Frontier moved the Rams from Los Angeles to their hometown of St. Louis in 1995, where they stayed for 21 seasons before Kroenke moved them back.

Kroenke, a Missouri real estate developer who is married to the heir to the Walmart fortune, became a minority owner when the team first moved to St. Frontier died in 2008 and left the team to his children, who sold the Rams to Kroenke in 2010.

Shortly thereafter the Rams began pushing multimillion-dollar improvements to the downtown domed stadium built with taxpayer money in the early 1990s to attract an NFL team.

St. Louis interests initially proposed more modest upgrades, then eventually proposed a new $1 billion stadium along the Mississippi River that would be funded jointly by taxpayers, the team, and the NFL. The league and the team went bald.

Instead, Kroenke bought land in Inglewood, California. Sophie Stadium opened in September 2020 and is now home to both the Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, who moved from San Diego in 2017.

Beyond losing the NFL team, St. Louis residents were incensed by Kroenke’s 29-page application to relocate before the January 2016 owners meeting where the move was approved. The document was critical of St. Louis’ population decline, questioned the region’s economic future, and questioned whether it could support baseball’s Cardinals and hockey’s Blues as well as the NFL franchise.

The 2017 lawsuit, filed on behalf of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, stated that Kroenke, other team officials and the league became aware as early as 2013 that the Rams had decided to relocate. Planned, but lied in refusal. This. The lawsuit states that the league ignored its own transfer guidelines in allowing the move.

The NFL, the Rams and Kroenke said the guidelines were not iron-clad and that the league was empowered to approve a move that was clearly in the best interests of the NFL and its 32 team owners.

Peter Joy, a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, said the case should serve as a lesson to the owners and the league if another team transfer is considered.

“Play by the rules,” said Joy. “Keep on contract. Don’t be deceptive.”

The deal comes after a court defeat for Kroenke and the NFL, America’s most popular and lucrative sports league.

Louis Circuit Judge Christopher McGraw ruled in July that there was sufficient evidence of Kroenke and others involved in fraud, so he ordered the NFL owners to release the financial records. This was intended to allow the jury to consider punitive damages if Kroenke and the NFL lost the case.

Lawyers for NFL officials called the request for records “offensive,” but the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s order in September.

The NFL and Kroenke also sought to move the trial out of St. Louis, citing “undue influence” on potential jurors. But McGraw denied the request in August, a decision later supported by a Missouri appeals court.

Kroenke and the NFL also tried unsuccessfully to have the case heard in arbitration rather than in court.

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