Billionaire Who Took Rams From St. Louis Can’t Move Lawsuit Too
(Bloomberg) -- The National Football League and billionaire Stanley Kroenke are stuck with a St. Louis court in their legal showdown with the city over relocation of the Rams to Los Angeles five years ago.
The league and Kroenke, the real-estate magnate who owns the Rams, lost a bid Tuesday to have the breach-of-contract case moved to another Missouri court due to “extensive pre-trial publicity.”
Lawyers for the NFL and Kroenke, who was dubbed “most hated man” in St. Louis in 2016, told Judge Christopher McGraugh that hard feelings created by the move, along with the city’s claims it cost the area jobs and tax revenue, will unfairly prejudice jurors in the case.
“It strikes me odd” that the league and Kroenke cited a lack of local backing as one of the reasons for moving the team, McGraugh said, but now they are “saying the opposite” -- that support for the Rams is so strong it’s not fair to hold a trial in St. Louis.
McGraugh heard the league’s argument last week that the case should be thrown out because Kroenke wasn’t under any obligation to keep the team in St. Louis. If the judge disagrees and lets the case proceed, a trial is scheduled for January.
The case is St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority v. National Football League, 1722-CC0976, Circuit Court of St. Louis City, Missouri, Twenty-Second Judicial District (St. Louis).
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