St. Louis sues the Los Angeles Rams

Says city lost millions over NFL team move

The city of St. Louis, Missouri decided to sue the Rams of the NFL over their move to Los Angeles. St. Louis County and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority are two of the other major parties suing the NFL and its 32 teams, including the Rams. The lawsuit is based on the damages and loss of profits St. Louis will have to incur as a result of the Rams moving to Los Angeles.

The plaintiffs contend that the city has lost over $100 million total because of the move, the majority of which came from taxes. Specifically, St. Louis has lost about $7.5 million from property tax, $1.4 million from sales tax and as much as $3.5 million from ticket tax. Other losses stem from the lack of hotel revenue now that away fans will not come to Rams games. The lawsuit also tells of thousands of jobs lost as a result of the move. For example, the failure to approve a new stadium for the Rams meant that 2.750 construction jobs and 600 yearly St. Louis jobs were not created.

The lawsuit says that one of the reasons St. Louis is pursuing this is because the NFL failed to follow relocation rules. According to the league’s rules, a team can only move if the organization made a “good faith effort” to stay in their home city. St. Louis believes the Rams didn’t follow this rule, as the city approved a stadium deal in 2015 that would’ve allowed the Rams to stay. Under that plan, St. Louis would contribute $150 million, and the state $400 million, to the building of the $1.1 billion stadium cost.

The process of convincing the Rams to stay cost St. Louis $17 million, according to the lawsuit. The city argues that they spent this amount because Rams executives repeatedly promised the team would stay. For example, Rams COO Kevin Demoff promised this in February 2014.

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