ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Attorneys for St. Louis squared off against the National Football League’s attorneys in court today. St. Louis alleges the league and team owners violated their own relocation guidelines when they voted to let the Rams move to Los Angeles in 2016.
The city, St. Louis County and Regional Convention & Sports Complex Authority filed suit in April. The NFL contended that the suit has no legitimate basis.
The lawsuit is seeking to recoup the funds spent by local authorities to try and keep the Rams in St. Louis and recover the lost potential revenue. It’s estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
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A judge heard preliminary arguments, Friday. The plaintiffs attorney Chris Baumann says the city was misled during the relocation search process.
“So we’ve alleged that the plaintiffs spoke with the (NFL) owners, telling them what they were doing. And the owners spoke back to us, saying ‘Keep going, you’re doing a great job,” Baumann says.
Related story: Did The Rams Know They Were Leaving STL in 2012?
But NFL attorney Andrew Kassof says the relocation guidelines are just that, guidelines, and not a matter of law.
The NFL argues that when St. Louis signed a lease with the Rams in the 1990s, it agreed to settle matters like this in arbitration.
A judge is expected to make a decision on how to proceed sometime this month.