Rams owner Stan Kroenke to pay $571 million in lawsuit settlement
October 19, 2022
Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke will pay $571 million out of $790 million payment to the City of St. Louis in a settlement of the lawsuit over the Rams’ relocation to Los Angeles.
Kroenke and the league agreed to divide the settlement, but how it would be split had been an issue for months. NFL teams already paid $219 million to St. Louis last year, which means each team has to pay $7.5 million.
According to ESPN, the remaining expenses will be Kroenke's responsibility. This decision is expected to be passed at the league's quarterly meeting on Tuesday in New York.
“Owners would waive the league's limit on allowable debt in order for Kroenke to do so,” Seth Wickersham of ESPN wrote.
St. Louis sues NFL
The four and half-year-old lawsuit was raised after the Rams had left St. Louis. The City of St. Louis asserted in court that they were third-party beneficiaries of the NFL's relocation policy and that the league had broken its relocation guidelines. According to the lawsuit, the team's relocation resulted in millions of dollars in lost amusement, ticket, and profits tax revenue for St. Louis.
The Ram's previous owner, Georgia Frontiere, moved the team to his hometown of St. Louis in 1995. After Frontiere passed away in 2008, her children sold the team to Kroenke in 2010. He later decided to move the team back to Los Angeles.
Courts were inclined to listen to the St. Louis side's desire to divulge financial information on club owners. Kroenke and the NFL failed to have the lawsuit dismissed and relocated it out of St. Louis. The lawsuit was scheduled for trial in January this year, but the parties reached a settlement in late November.
Kroenke, NFL clash
Kroenke had threatened to break an indemnification agreement on October 2021, according to ESPN. Other owners learned about his change of attitude during the Owners Meeting at InterContinental New York Barclay hotel.
Only owners and representatives were allowed in that meeting. NFL general counsel Jeff Pash gave an update about the lawsuit before Kroenke stood up, saying that he had done everything that was asked of him. He said he was sorry about the lawsuit but defended himself, saying that it wasn’t his fault.
Kroenke answered several questions before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asked him to leave the room. Pash told the owners that Kroenke's legal team had informed the league that Kroenke was contesting the indemnification agreement that the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders had signed.
“Sources said the room seemed stunned by Pash's update on Kroenke's view of the indemnification agreement,” Wickersham wrote.
ESPN also reported Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that Kroenke might file a lawsuit against the league because of the indemnification agreement. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy, the Rams and the City of St. Louis declined to comment.
Before the settlement, Kroenke had sent an email to the NFL containing his protest. He said he didn't expect that he had to pay the whole settlement since St. Louis had sued all of them. Kroenke added that he might settle with the city alone, leaving the other 31 teams to deal with the mess.
“Kroenke covered the legal fees in the case, but he had an indemnification agreement in place and didn't believe the language in that agreement required him to pay the settlement,” CBS’s John Breech wrote.