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Financially Wise of St. Louis to Sue NFL?

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NFL fans Tom Bateman (L) Skye Sverdlin, Daniel Balma, and Joe Ramirez, show their support for the St. Louis Rams NFL team to come to Los Angeles at a news conference to unveil plans for development at the site of the former Hollywood Park Race Track in Inglewood, California, in this January 5, 2015 file photo. Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files

Is it worth it? Is suing the NFL for failing to follow their own relocation guidelines in the financial interest of the city of St. Louis?

The reason I ask this question is because I have a number of family members and friends who live in the city and their tax dollars are being used in this lawsuit. I live just outside St. Louis and it’s technically not my money.

In full disclosure, I owned season tickets to the Rams but that’s not really a factor in writing this article. The Rams aren’t coming back. My interests in this case are limited to legal and financial concerns.

The basic idea is that the city of St. Louis hopes to get money from the league because they failed to follow their policies for relocating a team. The city spent quite a bit of money trying to keep the Rams in St. Louis. They feel this was a wasted effort because the Rams did not bargain in good faith with the team and the NFL failed to consider this factor.

The Rams were determined to leave St. Louis for the inarguably richer fields of Los Angeles. Nothing the city did could have prevented the move. Thus, the NFL owes the city a return of the money spent trying to bargain with the Rams.

I think the biggest sticking point will be whether the Rams bargained in good faith with the city. Good faith is not an easy thing to define. For the Rams to win the lawsuit, they will have to prove that Stan Kroenke had no intention of staying in St. Louis. That is essentially the way the law works and that is the problem with this lawsuit.

It is quite clear to me that Kroenke absolutely failed to bargain in good faith. He saw the dollar signs in Los Angeles and away he went. There was nothing St. Louis could do to keep him here. The NFL saw those exact same monetary possibilities and voted to allow the move.

The only reason Kroenke even pretended to bargain with the city was to give the illusion of good faith.

The question becomes, how do you prove it? Are there emails from Kroenke to league commissioner Roger Goodell stating that he had no intention of staying in St. Louis? Are there communications from other principles indicating as much? No chance.

Perhaps I’m mistaken. Maybe a judge will give the city a financial settlement. Maybe the NFL will settle for some smaller amount.

The city was treated quite poorly by the NFL and the Rams. Cheated. Lied to. It wasted time, money, and effort in a hopeless endeavor. Shame on the Rams. Shame on the NFL. That being said, at some point the city must accept responsibility for allowing themselves to be used.

As I see it, the city is wasting even more tax payer money chasing after that which is already gone.

By Tom Liberman

Tom Liberman is a rather ordinary fellow who enjoys spending time with his great family and wonderful friends. He writes Sword and Sorcery fantasy novels in his spare time. 

2 COMMENTS

  1. The city is wasting no money on this. The law firm is working on a contingency basis. If they don’t win they get zero.

    • Hi, schaef21,

      Thank you for the comment. I saw the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote that, although I’m skeptical no fees are being assessed. I tried to contact the law firm but haven’t heard back yet. I’ll let you know if I find out more.

      Thanks again,

      Tom

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