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St. Louis agrees $790m settlement with NFL, Rams over relocation

St. Louis City, County and the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority has signed a $790m (£593m/€705m) settlement agreement with Stan Kroenke and the NFL over the relocation of the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles.

The Rams left St. Louis in 2016 and played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for three seasons before moving to the new SoFi Stadium last year.

The team’s move from St. Louis led to a lawsuit being filed by the city and a substantial settlement has now been reached. In a statement, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page described the settlement as a “historic agreement” that closes a “long chapter” for the region.

The City, County and Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority are still determining how settlement funds will be allocated. It is unclear how much of the €790m will be paid by Kroenke and how much will be owed by owners of the league’s other teams, which voted in favour of the Rams’ relocation to Los Angeles.

The settlement brings an end to a drawn-out legal process, with Kroenke and the NFL having sought to dismiss the lawsuit. The lawsuit had been seeking more than $1bn and the case had been due to go to trial on January 10 – a month before SoFi Stadium hosts the Super Bowl.

The Rams spent 21 years in St. Louis before moving to Los Angeles. The team had originally been based in California before moving to St. Louis in 1995. Kroenke bought the Rams in 2010 and opted to return the team to Los Angeles after rejecting a proposal from St. Louis to build a new riverside stadium in the city.

According to the Associated Press news agency, the lawsuit filed by St. Louis claimed that Kroenke, along with other team officials and the NFL itself, knew “as early as 2013” that the Rams planned on relocating to Los Angeles.

According to multiple reports, the $790m settlement fee does not include a promise from the NFL to award a franchise to St. Louis in the future.

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