St. Louis will have the chance to fight in court against the Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the National Football League, a Missouri Supreme Court ruled this week.
While Kroenke motioned to move the suit into arbitration, the high court denied his request and will allow legal proceedings to continue in the St. Louis Circuit Court, rather than in secret.
“It’s a major deal,” Jim Shrewsbury, chairman of the public authority that owns the football stadium, told STLToday. “It guarantees us our day in court.”
This suit revolves around the Rams’ move from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016. The dome authority, St. Louis, and St. Louis County sued the Rams, the NFL, and the 31 other NFL teams and owners, alleging breach of contract, fraud, illegal enrichment and interference in business by the Rams and the NFL, and significant public financial loss. The suit has been assigned to St. Louis Circuit Judge Christopher McGraugh and could cost the team, as well as the NFL, millions of dollars.
Avoiding arbitration could mean a win for St. Louis, since the NFL hires a lot of arbiters, Shrewsbury said. Earlier this year, the Rams won a suit after it moved to arbitration after a panel ruled that the Rams could buy its 27-acre training camp practice facility in Earth City for $1, although it was worth at least $12.7 million.
In addition to these suits, fans who bought personal seat licenses (PSLs) sued the franchise to receive money back on their 30-year licenses. This past June, a judge approved a settlement with the Rams, allowing PSL holders to receive up to $24 million. This December, payouts will begin, allowing PSL owners to receive 30 percent of the original purchase price, covering the 9 years that remained on the 30-year licenses.