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November 24, 2021
(Reuters) -The city and county of St. Louis and other parties have agreed to settle for $790 million a dispute over whether the NFL violated its relocation guidelines when it allowed the Rams to move to Los Angeles in 2016.
The settlement agreement was reached with Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the National Football League, the city said in a statement on Wednesday.
NFL owners voted overwhelmingly to permit the move in 2016, ending the league’s 21-year absence in the United States’ second-largest TV market.
The relocation, however, broke the hearts of Midwest football fans who followed the team since it moved to St. Louis in 1995.
“This historic agreement closes a long chapter for our region, securing hundreds of millions of dollars for our communities while avoiding the uncertainty of the trial and appellate process,” Mayor Tishaura O. Jones said in a statement.
The city had argued in a civil lawsuit that the loss of the Rams hurt the region and benefited the league and its owners, who received a $550 million relocation fee.
An NFL spokesman confirmed the agreement and said “we appreciate the effort by all parties to reach a settlement and thank Judge Jack Garvey for his service as mediator.”
The Rams did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The team, which won the Super Bowl while playing for St. Louis in 2000, shares the $5 billion SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, with the Los Angeles Chargers – who previously played in San Diego.
The facility, the first new football stadium built for Los Angeles in nearly a century, opened a year ago.
(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru, Amy Tennery and Karen Pierog; Editing by Toby Chopra and Toby Davis)
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