ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A bitter chapter in Missouri sports drama is coming to an end, as the NFL and Rams owner Stan Kroenke have settled a lawsuit over the Rams’ departure from St. Louis. The settlement total is $790 million.
The Rams’ departure for California came after years of back-and-forth over the quality of the stadium in downtown St. Louis where they played, The Dome at America’s Center, built in the early 1990s through public funding. When the team, at the time owned by Georgia Frontiere, moved to St. Louis in 1995, part of their contract with the City of St. Louis stipulated that the stadium must be maintained in the top 25% of NFL stadiums, measured once every ten years. In the 2000s, the stadium fell out of favor with fans, ranking among the worst in all of the NFL in multiple publications and polls. The Rams re-signed for another 10 years in St. Louis in exchange for $30 million in renovations to the stadium. But the stadium still had problems, the team and city could not agree on a plan for renovations, and the Rams played their last game there in December 2015, before moving to Los Angeles.
In 2017, St. Louis City, St. Louis County and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority filed the lawsuit against the NFL and Kroenke, alleging they had violated the NFL’s relocation rules when the team moved to L.A. Details of how the settlement will be paid out and divided are not yet known. On Wednesday, the City of St. Louis released the following statement about the settlement:
Today, St. Louis City, County, and the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority signed a $790 million settlement agreement with Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the National Football League.
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 City, County, and STLRSA are still determining how settlement funds will be allocated. We will provide more updates as they become available.