It has been 15 months since the Los Angeles Rams decided to return home, but it seems the city of St. Louis just cannot move on. Despite multiple clear signs that owner Stan Kroenke was making headway for a homecoming, officials from the team’s former home were still apparently caught off-guard and have now decided to take action.
The city of St. Louis filed a 52-page lawsuit claiming the league violated their own relocation policies in allowing the Rams to return to the Los Angeles:
The city of St. Louis and other regional entities filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the NFL and all 32 of its teams and owners. The plaintiffs are seeking more than $1 billion in damages, claiming the league violated its own relocation policies in approving the Rams’ move to Los Angeles, a decision that inflicted great economic harm on the place the team had called home for 21 years.
The lawsuit cited the relocation policy the NFL adopted in 1984 to avoid antitrust liability. The plaintiffs said the Rams failed to meet the ‘identified objective factors’ for relocation and failed to negotiate ‘in good faith’ with St. Louis authorities:
In addition, the team was accused of making false statements about its desire to remain in St. Louis and concealing a plan to move to Los Angeles that was hatched several years before the relocation bid, which was approved by the NFL in January 2016.
Despite ongoing efforts to get a deal done in their former home, Kroenke ultimately bowed out after the city refused to uphold their end of the bargain to help build a new stadium. City officials claim they were blindsided after haphazardly constructing a stadium plan that relied heavily on Kroenke’s funding. However, the tell-tale sign of a relocation should have been back in 2014 when he purchased the Inglewood property, which is now the future home of the Rams.
Not only does the suit make the city of St. Louis look like a disgruntled ex-lover desperate for even the slightest bit of revenge, but it also hurts their potential chances at expansion in the future. Seeing as how Los Angeles just got their team back, St. Louis could be waiting for a long time.