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Rams litigation case settled at $790 mil, no new team for St. Louis



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 5 days ago '07        #1
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Bkjj11  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x97
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Rams litigation case settled at $790 mil, no new team for St. Louis
 

 

ST. LOUIS — Lawyers have struck a deal to settle the four-year-old Rams relocation lawsuit for $790 million, sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations told the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday.

St. Louis and St. Louis County officials are expected to announce the settlement Wednesday morning. Lawyers were working to notify all NFL owners first.

The settlement does not include an expansion football team for St. Louis, a source said. It was not immediately clear how much of the settlement would be paid by Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who moved the Rams from St. Louis in 2016, and how much would be paid by the NFL.

Lawyers representing Kroenke and the NFL were in St. Louis on Tuesday for a mediation session with lawyers representing St. Louis, St. Louis County and the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, which owns the Dome at America's Center, to discuss settlement possibilities. Negotiations, held at a law firm office in Clayton, went into the night.

Mediating the deal was former St. Louis Circuit Judge Jack Garvey, who now works in civil practice at Carey Danis & Lowe in St. Louis.

Attempts to strike a deal came in advance of two important dates:

• The first was a contempt of court hearing that was to decide if multiple influential NFL owners had satisfied Circuit Judge Christopher McGraugh’s request to hand over detailed financial information for the pursuit of potential punitive damages against certain owners.

• The second was the scheduled start of a January trial that would ask a St. Louis jury to decide if Kroenke, his fellow owners and the NFL broke Missouri law by violating the league’s relocation guidelines during the 2016 relocation of the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles.

The city, county and dome authority filed the civil suit against Kroenke, the Rams, the league and its owners in 2017, alleging the league broke its own relocation rules that were established decades ago to avoid antitrust liability. The suit alleged breach of contract, fraud, illegal enrichment and interference in business by the Rams and the NFL. It cited significant financial loss, including but not limited to the $18 million the region spent on a task force that came up with a proposal to keep the Rams in a new riverfront stadium before Kroenke spent billions of his own money on a new stadium in Inglewood, California.

Sources: $790 million settlement reached in Rams relocation lawsuit
Pressure built on the league to reach a settlement in recent weeks as Kroenke frustrated his fellow NFL owners by expressing interest in revisiting the terms of the indemnification agreement he signed before the move. Kroenke reportedly threatened his fellow owners to settle his side of the case individually if he did not get help from them in handling the financial toll of a settlement. The decision to settle represents an about-face from the league after it downplayed the legitimacy of the lawsuit from the start.



“There is no legitimate basis for this litigation,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said after it was filed in 2017. “While we understand the disappointment of the St. Louis fans and the community, we worked diligently with local and state officials in a process that was honest and fair at all times.”

The lawsuit claimed St. Louis lost up to $3.5 million a year in amusement and ticket tax revenue with the departure of the Rams, and that the city lost about $7.5 million in property tax and $1.4 million in sales tax revenue, plus millions in earnings taxes. The county was alleged to have lost hotel tax, property tax and sales tax revenue because of the team’s departure.

During the lawsuit’s pretrial process, the St. Louis side also received permission to pursue punitive damages against owners who served on the league’s committee on Los Angeles expansion, which started a bitter f*ght in league circles about what financial documents those owners would be required to hand over as the St. Louis lawyers built their case. Also chafing owners was a lengthy and exhausting discovery process that required phone records from owners dating back long before the Rams were approved to relocate. A trial would have pursued billions between damages and punitive damages, but would have faced the risk of winnings being clawed back by an appeal.

At the heart of the case was not what turned out to be the yearslong quest of Kroenke to move the team, some of which was happening in plain sight due to the regrettable lease the region gave the team upon its initial arrival from Los Angeles; or a trail of lies told by Rams executive Kevin Demoff along the way; but the league’s insistence, from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to former league executive Eric Grubman, that a strict following of the relocation guidelines, which were established in 1984 in response to court recommendation to the NFL to avoid antitrust liability, would give St. Louis a fair chance to keep its team.

That effort produced plans for a $1.1 billion open-air stadium on the St. Louis riverfront, which would have received $400 million in public funding. The pitch wasn’t just rejected. Kroenke’s relocation application, which was accepted, seemed to go out of its way to paint St. Louis in a negative light. After the race for Los Angeles concluded, the NFL insisted its relocation guidelines, which among other things require good-faith negotiations between a team and a host city before relocation, were not a contract and did not make St. Louis a third-party beneficiary to a contract. That stance had not fared well in pretrial proceedings and would have been at the heart of a January trial.

The lawsuit was filed by the Clayton law firm of Blitz, Bardgett and Deutsch, with Clayton firm Dowd Bennett as co-counsel. Both law firms took the case on a contingency basis.


The NFL approved the Rams' move in January 2016, after league owners voted multiple times and resorted to a secret ballot to approve the move. In the end, all three teams included in the race for Los Angeles relocated. The Rams went to Inglewood, where Kroenke’s stadium is shared by the Chargers. The Raiders went from Oakland to Las Vegas.

“This is the hardest undertaking that I’ve faced in my career,” Kroenke said in 2016 after receiving permission to move the Rams, breaking the silence he became known for soon after his emergence as the Rams’ majority owner in 2010 included a reassurance he would not move the team. “I understand the emotional side.”
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19 comments
 

 5 days ago '04        #2
Kadroan  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x20
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Now get them a team.
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 5 days ago '04        #3
Fresh Beats 
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Surprised that it went from a baseless claim to a settlement this large. The Rams are worth over 3 times as much since they left St. Louis ($4.8 Billion in 2021) so it is still a good come-up.


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 5 days ago '08        #4
stlcardinals19 
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City had the NFL by the balls and then settles before court? $790 million is a haul, but the analysis had the city winning billions. Ceding the high ground for effectively no reason. Ah well
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 5 days ago '21        #5
King856 
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 stlcardinals19 said
City had the NFL by the balls and then settles before court? $790 million is a haul, but the analysis had the city winning billions. Ceding the high ground for effectively no reason. Ah well
There is a reason. Its in hopes of getting another team. Long money >>>
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 5 days ago '08        #6
stlcardinals19 
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 King856 said
There is a reason. Its in hopes of getting another team. Long money >>>
The best laid plan, seemingly, was to get an NFL team after a much larger damages reward after a trial. Settling takes that option away, and the article posted offers no deal in place for an expansion team for settling before court as well. Maybe there is a deal that'll get revealed eventually, but for now........ low-key disappointing TBH
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 5 days ago '06        #7
Isiah61 
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��You can find me in St Louie��

I want them to have their team back because fu*k greedy LA having two teams. Also get Seattle their basketball team back.
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 5 days ago '04        #8
octane 
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That's why the owner of the Rams can suck a bag of d*cks and kick rocks. I hope the Rams don't win sh*t while they are in LA.
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 5 days ago '09        #9
TriniSoldier  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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Who cares what the teams worth 800 million is a nice chunk of change especially for that part of America
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 5 days ago '06        #10
insert.cliche 
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 stlcardinals19 said
The best laid plan, seemingly, was to get an NFL team after a much larger damages reward after a trial. Settling takes that option away, and the article posted offers no deal in place for an expansion team for settling before court as well. Maybe there is a deal that'll get revealed eventually, but for now........ low-key disappointing TBH
Initially surprised by the news of a settlement given the recent headlines. But after reading, the key quote from the article was that potential winnings from a lengthy trial would likely get tied up in appeals for years.

That definitely changes the calculus.

In short: city gets nearly a billy in damages, avoids a lengthy trial and appeals process w/ endless legal fees, and shows the NFL they're willing to play ball, esp. if there's a chance at team to be had in the near future.

Sounds like a W to me.
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 5 days ago '04        #11
W24x55 
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Stan a dork.

Isn't his wife the bread winner?
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 5 days ago '17        #12
DavidTheMan 
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M. Left st louis apent his own money , 2 billy, to build his own stadium, no subsidy and he is punished?

Doesnt sit right with me. Why would the nfl allow him to move if it broke their own rules and exposed all of ownership.

If other owners have to pay, goddell will feel this on the backend.

 5 days ago '08        #13
stlcardinals19 
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 insert.cliche said
Initially surprised by the news of a settlement given the recent headlines. But after reading, the key quote from the article was that potential winnings from a lengthy trial would likely get tied up in appeals for years.

That definitely changes the calculus.

In short: city gets nearly a billy in damages, avoids a lengthy trial and appeals process w/ endless legal fees, and shows the NFL they're willing to play ball, esp. if there's a chance at team to be had in the near future.

Sounds like a W to me.
Probably. Not sure if the appeal could go our way, but it's nice to see the about-face from the NFL on this. Essentially an admission of being in the wrong here and being held accountable. Last time I saw the NFL make this big a payment was during the whole concussion/CTE debacle. Its just.......I wanted a pound of flesh here, not gonna lie

But y'all are right, take the 2-run double and build from that.

 5 days ago '05        #14
Lil Jay 05 
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Good to see my hometown get some money....

Should of settled for Cash and a new team, but it is what it is at this point.

May be the Shah Khan will move the fu*king the Jags from Jacksonville to STL, since he is from that area.
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 5 days ago '05        #15
carden2 
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 Isiah61 said
��You can find me in St Louie��

I want them to have their team back because fu*k greedy LA having two teams. Also get Seattle their basketball team back.
stl screwed themselves. these cities know how these contracts work. they know why the clause is in there for fixing up the stadium and making sure it's top % of the NFL, cause of support isn't there both sides get out.
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 5 days ago '05        #16
Lil Jay 05 
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But at this point, STL should no to the NFL and use that money to help the North City side of STL and fix some sh*t up. sh*t is looking is horrible.
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 5 days ago '04        #17
Chronos  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x6
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 Lil Jay 05 said
But at this point, STL should no to the NFL and use that money to help the North City side of STL and fix some sh*t up. sh*t is looking is horrible.
This is my hope as well but you know damn well that money ending up in pockets and will go to the south side as if they need anymore money.
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 5 days ago '18        #18
DUCEDUCE  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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 Isiah61 said
��You can find me in St Louie��

I want them to have their team back because fu*k greedy LA having two teams. Also get Seattle their basketball team back.
Bro LA has 12 million people, the whole state of Missouri has 6 million. Yeah im moving that team back HOME.

 5 days ago '11        #19
bkamagnum 
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mad grimey sh*t

 5 days ago '20        #20
God is Good 
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They don’t need a team anyways

Kroenke did the right thing

LA>>>>

God bless



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