Report: St. Louis and Rams, NFL Settle Lawsuit for $790M over LA Relocation

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVNovember 24, 2021

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 12: Los Angeles Rams team owner Stan Kroenke and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell pose for a picture prior to a game against the Chicago Bears at SoFi Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The NFL and Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke have reportedly completed a $790 million settlement with the city of St. Louis regarding the Rams' move to L.A. in 2016.

Joel Currier and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported the deal after previously noting that mediation sessions were held Tuesday with hope of finalizing the settlement before upcoming court dates in the case, including the potential start of a trial in January.

The city, county and the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority filed the lawsuit against Kroenke and the NFL in 2017 alleging the league "committed breach of contract, fraud, illegal enrichment and interference in business" by violating its own relocation rules in order to move the Rams.

In early November, the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a circuit judge's ruling that the case must remain in St. Louis despite efforts by Kroenke and the NFL to move it out of the city, which the defendants believe created "undue influence" in favor of the plaintiffs.

That ruling combined with a recent confrontation at the league's owner meetings in October created pressure on the NFL to push toward a resolution.

ESPN's Seth Wickersham reported Kroenke raised the prospect of no longer covering all legal expenses related to the Rams' exit from St. Louis as was expected under the indemnification agreement, which "angered" many of his fellow owners.

Some teams have already registered eight-figure legal bills to comply with various requests related to the case, such as fulfilling requests for phone records and emails, and the idea they could become financially liable for all future costs left many "stunned," per Wickersham.

A.J. Perez of Front Office Sports reported Kroenke recently offered $100 million as part of a settlement agreement, but the city of St. Louis declined the offer.

The Rams moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995 before returning after a two-decade stay. The franchise started in Cleveland in 1936 before a 1946 move to L.A.