St. Louis Rams Settlement


Will Glarner '22

A four-year lawsuit filed in 2017 against the Los Angeles Rams and the NFL has officially come to an end with a $790 million settlement for the city of St. Louis. The lawsuit was filed because St. Louis City and County argued that the Rams violated the NFL’s relocation guidelines when they decided to relocate to Los Angeles. Many are surprised that St. Louis decided to settle before going to trial because the settlement does not include an expansion team for the franchise. It is unclear how much of the $790 million Stan Kroenke, the billionaire owner of the Rams, was responsible for. Reports suggest that Kroenke covered tens of millions of dollars of the settlement, but it is a “drop in the bucket” for a man boasting a current net worth of $10.7 billion. 

Before the settlement was reached, Kroenke threatened to settle separately and leave the NFL on its own for a trial in January. Kroenke’s representatives explained that they wished to settle the case for between $500 million and $750 million. Ultimately, Kroeneke decided to stay with the NFL in the suit because he did not want to risk not sharing the costs. In the end, the case included all 32 teams and cost millions in legal fees most likely covered by Kroenke. The agreement stated that the NFL and the Rams had 30 days of that filing on November 24, 2021 to make the payments. Luckily this was upheld in order to avoid another lawsuit, and the settlement was paid as of December 24, 2021 officially ending the lawsuit. 

Now how is the City of St. Louis going to spend $790 million? According to reports, 35 percent of the settlement as well as “identified costs” are going to the St. Louis law firms Dowd Bennett LLP and Blitz Bardgett & Deutsch. Presently, the City, County, and STLRSA (St. Louis Recreation Sports Arena) are still determining the allocation of the remaining funds. St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed noted, “The City of St. Louis should get the largest share since it has suffered the heaviest losses with the Rams vacating the dome downtown.” He also included in his explanation that St. Louis County backed out of financing for a new riverfront stadium to keep the Rams in St. Louis.

St. Louis County Council Chairwoman Rita Days wants “a portion of the money earmarked for a new, long-awaited, north county rec center or a larger, combined project from all three winners of the lawsuit.” Hopefully, this money is put to good use in St. Louis, but unfortunately I highly doubt our city utilizes these funds correctly. I bet there will be lawsuits between the City, County, and STLRSA fighting over the remaining sum of roughly half a billion dollars because some parties argue they are due more of the settlement than others. There definitely is no shortage of issues in downtown St. Louis that this money could help solve, but I do not believe building a recreational center is the key to attacking our region’s problems.