City of St. Louis sues National Football League, teams over Los Angeles Rams' move

Beth Cruz
April 13, 2017

"The Rams, the NFL, through its member teams, and the owners, have violated the obligations and standards governing team relocations by seeking and approving the relocation of the St. Louis Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles, California, despite the fact that the Rams failed to satisfy the obligations imposed by the League's relocation rules and the fact that relocation was not supported by the required statement of reasons or the adopted relocation standards".

"There is no legitimate basis for this litigation", the National Football League said in a statement.

The Rams announced the move after ESPN's Field Yates first reported the decision.

The Rams are preparing for their second season in Los Angeles, but the aftermath of their exit from St. Louis continues to be marked by bitterness. The new Inglewood stadium, slated to cost $2.6 billion, is scheduled to open in 2019. In March, the owners also approved the eventual Oakland Raiders' move to Las Vegas. It seeks unspecified damages for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and fraudulent misrepresentation.

The suit alleges the National Football League didn't follow its own relocation guidelines and requirements, citing the 1984 National Football League policy for relocations.

Fair process or not, however, a lawsuit isn't going to give St. Louis the Rams back and when it comes to protecting the shield, Roger Goodell is a pro. It notes that Forbes estimated the value of the team more than doubled after it moved to Los Angeles. Fisher was sacked in December.

Kroenke and the Rams soon began contemplating a new home after the decision by the St. Louis CVC, with Los Angeles emerging as their desired location after Kroenke got control of almost 300 acres of open land in Inglewood on which he hoped to build a new stadium as part of a massive multi-use development project. Meanwhile, the value of the Rams increased by almost $700 million.

According to the suit, St. Louis has lost between $1.85 million and $3.5 million in amusement and ticket tax revenue since the Rams left before the 2016 season and $7.5 million in property tax and $1.4 million in sales tax revenue. The sports complex authority spent more than $17 million during efforts to build a new stadium for the Rams. The Rams are playing at Memorial Coliseum until then.

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