The NFL dodged a trial in a long-running St. Louis relocation lawsuit over the Rams’ move to Los Angeles with a settlement weeks before trial was scheduled to begin.
At $790 million, the price tag to end the legal dispute was the most the NFL has paid to settle litigation.
The settlement, however, was worth it to the league as it ensured sensitive financial information compiled by lawyers representing the plaintiffs — St. Louis, St. Louis County, and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority — would not become public at a jury trial that was set to begin Jan. 10.
“This historic agreement closes a long chapter for our region, securing hundreds of millions of dollars for our communities while avoiding the uncertainty of the trial and appellate process,” the plaintiffs in the case said in a joint statement.
The lawsuit filed in 2017 alleged the NFL broke its own relocation rules by allowing Rams owner Stan Kroenke to move to Los Angeles after the 2015 season.
- The two sides began mediation last Tuesday. A deal was reached roughly 24 hours later.
- The settlement didn’t include a promise of a future expansion franchise.
- The settlement amount is more than the purchase price for all but four NFL teams — Buffalo, Carolina, Cleveland and Miami — and more than any expansion fee in league history.
Kroenke previously tried to settle the lawsuit for $100 million, an offer that was rejected, sources told Front Office Sports earlier this month.