The NFL agreed to pay $790 million in November to end a legal dispute over the Rams’ relocation from St. Louis to Los Angeles back in 2016.
The amount is the most the NFL has ever paid to settle litigation, and details about where the money came from are now starting to emerge.
Filed in 2017 by St. Louis, St. Louis County, and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, the lawsuit alleged the league broke its own relocation rules when the Rams moved.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke agreed to indemnify the league before other NFL owners approved the team’s move in 2016, but wavered on his promises shortly before the trial started on Jan. 10, 2022. Kroenke previously attempted to settle the suit for $100 million.
Instead, the NFL settled and Kroenke’s counterparts paid a portion of it. The league has reportedly taken $7.5 million from the other 31 teams — totaling $232.5 million — a “surprise” to the owners, who are left with questions about their budgets. The Athletic reported that the rest likely came from the NFL’s financial reserves.
- The owners reportedly still don’t know if the money will be returned from the league.
- Kroenke continues to resist pressure to pay the sum, arguing that legal costs and settlement payments are different.
New York Giants owner John Mara said last year that if Kroenke hadn’t agreed to indemnify it, owners wouldn’t have voted in favor of the move. Other owners, including the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, advocated for the Rams’ move.