The $790 million settlement the NFL reached with the city of St. Louis last November appears to have been resolved by the NFL at last, after a delay of nearly a year.
ESPN reports that the NFL’s 32 owners will vote on a resolution on Tuesday that will require Kroenke to pay $571 million of the $790 million settlement. The 32 NFL teams, who were somewhat taken aback earlier this year when they learned they would be footing the price, will provide the remaining funds. The NFL took $7.5 million out of each team’s revenue-sharing payment in May, and it used that money to contribute to the settlement.
Most of The Clubs Expected Kroenke to Cover the Settlement’s Total Cost
Most of the clubs expected Kroenke to cover the settlement’s total cost, so they were shocked to lose that money. Since the original St. Louis settlement announcement on November 24, the controversy has been a cloud over the league’s head. In the days preceding that settlement, Kroenke had written the NFL in an email to make it plain that he did not anticipate footing the entire amount. Since St. Louis was suing every single one of the 32 teams, Kroenke vowed to settle with the city on his own behalf, leaving the other 31 clubs high and dry.
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Due to Kroenke’s belief that he was not legally compelled to pay the full settlement amount, the situation became problematic. However, he had an indemnification arrangement in place and didn’t think the terms in that agreement obligated him to pay the compensation. Kroenke paid the legal costs associated with the lawsuit. (Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk described here why Kroenke actually had a pretty strong legal case to make.)
The Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority
The Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, the City of St. Louis, and St. Louis County first filed the complaint back in 2017.
The Rams’ relocation was seen by the plaintiffs as “violating the duties and standards governing team relocations” and led to the filing of the complaint. The city of St. Louis and the other plaintiffs argued, in essence, that the Rams violated the NFL’s relocation policies when they left town and that the other 31 teams are to blame because they approved the Rams’ transfer.
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In the end, Kroenke will have to pay $571 million in addition to everything else he has already paid for because of his decision to move the franchise from St. Louis to Los Angeles. Prior to the 2016 season, the Rams relocated to Los Angeles after 21 seasons in St. Louis.
Despite the fact that Kroenke will be handing over a sizable sum of money, he shouldn’t have any trouble accomplishing that. The Rams owner has a $12.5 billion net worth, according to Bloomberg.