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NFL to Settle Lawsuit Over Rams’ Departure for $790 Million

  • November 24, 2021

The victory for St. Louis is bittersweet. While the money from the settlement will help make up some of the financial losses from tourism and entertainment fees, it will not atone for the psychic damage of watching a second N.F.L. franchise depart.

In 1988, the city lost the Cardinals, who moved to Arizona. St. Louis lured the Rams from Anaheim, Calif., in 1995, in part because it had already constructed a domed stadium, but the lease with the N.F.L. franchise gave the team opportunities to seek other options for venues later.

The city’s fears grew when, in 2013, Kroenke bought the Hollywood Park Racetrack, which sat on 260 acres of land in Inglewood, Calif. The Rams then would not commit to a long-term deal to stay in St. Louis, raising the likelihood of a relocation.

To fight back, the then-governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, formed a task force that developed a plan for a new outdoor stadium near the Mississippi River that included a naming rights partner and public funding to cover some construction costs.

At the same time, a committee of six N.F.L. owners recommended that the league allow the Chargers and Raiders, who also sought new venues, to build a stadium together in Carson, Calif. Yet in January 2016, the entire cohort of league owners voted 30-2 to let the Rams move to Los Angeles. As a consolation, the Chargers were given the right to move in to the Rams’ new home if they could not secure a new stadium in San Diego.

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