The city of St. Louis has filed a 52-page lawsuit against the NFL and the Rams over the team’s relocation to Los Angeles last summer. The city is arguing that the league violated its relocation guidelines.
While the NFL was - and has been - adamant that poor attendance and lack of support was the reason for the Rams move to Los Angeles, rather than that being a result of poor quality of play, the league has stated that there is no “legitimate basis” for the lawsuit. The NFL says it worked “diligently” with local and state officials during the process.
The city of St. Louis, on the other hand, is saying the process was not fair and that the NFL never intended to negotiate with honest intentions with the city. The lawsuit’s main arguments include breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraudulent misrepresentation, and tortious interference with business expectancy.
The lawsuit claims the city has lost $1.85-million to $3.5-million a year in amusement and ticket tax revenue with the departure of the Rams. It also says that about $7.5-million in property tax and $1.4-million in sales tax revenue, plus “millions” in earning taxes.
Obvious targets in the lawsuit are Jerry Jones, who is said to have lobbied NFL owners to support Kroenke and the move, team COO Kevin Demoff, who the lawsuit states that he “made false statements regarding the team’s intent to engage in good faith negotiations,” and NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, is accused of making false statements as well.
As expected “Silent Stan” has remained silent over the allegations and the team has not released a statement. That information, of course, came at the hands of a team spokesperson.
In the end. I’m not sure how far this gets. Teams have relocated in the past. It happens. The NFL has moved three teams now in the last 15 months with the Chargers also moving to Los Angeles and the Raiders to Las Vegas.
That’s not to say the city of St. Louis doesn't have a reason to be upset. They lost not just their first NFL team, but their second in the span of 29 years. The first being when the Cardinals moved from St. Louis to Arizona.
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. St. Louis may get the closure they have been looking for, but I doubt they’re going to like the answer they get.