Report: Rams, St. Louis reach $790 million settlement in relocation suit

·2-min read

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Los Angeles Rams have reached a $790 million settlement with the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, and the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, ending the lawsuit that was spurred by the Rams' decision to leave St. Louis and relocate to Los Angeles. 

The suit was filed four years ago by St. Louis, which alleged that the NFL, its team owners, and Rams owner Stan Kroenke broke their own relocation rules in 2016 when they allowed the Rams to pull up stakes after 20 years and move to Los Angeles. They filed suit for breach of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment and other allegations related to the move. 

The settlement itself is somewhat of a surprise, since from the beginning the NFL's attitude has been that the lawsuit was not legitimate. They may have been forced to take it more seriously when the judge started consistently ruling against the NFL in pre-trial motions. 

The latest example of that came in early November, when the Missouri appeals court rejected the Rams' request to move the trial out of St. Louis. The Rams and the NFL argued that they couldn't get a fair trial since members of the jury would all be from the city the Rams left, an argument that apparently held no water with the judge. 

With the settlement effectively ending the lawsuit, there will likely be no contempt of court hearing, which was scheduled for the coming months after NFL owners were reluctant to provide the detailed financial records requested by Circuit Judge Christopher McGraugh. There will also be no trial, which was set to begin in January. According to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, a trial had the potential to embarrass several influential team owners since the NFL would have no control over the proceedings.

It's not known how much of that settlement will be paid by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who recently angered other NFL owners when he reportedly said he no longer wanted to pay the legal fees associated with the relocation, and how much will be paid by the NFL. According to ESPN's Seth Wickersham, the relocation legal fees surpass the net worth of several NFL owners.

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