NFL, St. Louis agree to $790 million settlement in Rams lawsuit

AFP News Agency

26th Nov, 2021. 12:20 am
St. Louis and the NFL

St. Louis and the NFL. Image courtesy: Forbes

St. Louis and the NFL have reached a deal to settle the lawsuit filed by the city over the move of the Rams franchise for $790 million, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Times reported it had independently confirmed the settlement, which ends a four-year-old lawsuit brought by the city, county and stadium authority against team owner Stan Kroenke, the Rams, the NFL and its owners.

The suit claimed the league broke its own relocation rules when Kroenke moved the club back to Los Angeles. The rules require the team and league to make every reasonable effort to keep a franchise in its host city.

At the time, regional entities in St. Louis had spent $18 million on a task force that produced a proposal to keep the Rams in a new stadium there, before spent billions of his own money to build the new SoFi Stadium in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood.

In 2017, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said there was “no legitimate basis for this litigation”, saying the league had worked “diligently” with local and state officials in a process that was “honest and fair at all times”.

According to the Post-Dispatch, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell approved the settlement on Wednesday and the league began notifying owners, with the league expected to pay the money “within a month”.

The newspaper said the league “will determine internally” how much of the settlement will be paid by the league, how much by Los Angeles Rams owner Kroenke and how much by other team owners.

The settlement means Kroenke will not have to take the witness stand in a jury trial in St. Louis in December, shortly before the Super Bowl is set to be held at his showpiece stadium in Los Angeles.

The deal also neutralizes Kroenke’s threat to sue the league and fellow owners if they refused to share the settlement cost with him.