St. Louis area announces Rams placement grant program

British stone. LOUIS — A year after Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the NFL agreed to pay $790 million to settle a lawsuit over the team’s departure from Los Angeles, a St. Louis interest group announced a plan to split the money.

St. Louis Mayor’s Office Tishaura Jones released details of the plan Tuesday night. The tentative agreement must still be approved by the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority (RSA) Board of Directors.

It asked for $250 million for the city of St. Louis, $169 million for St. Louis County and $70 million for the RSA — which owns the domed stadium where the Rams once played. Another $30 million will be used to expand the America Center convention center attached to the dome. Although the dome is located in the city of St. Louis, county taxpayers helped pay for it.

The law firm handling the case received $275 million in legal fees. That leaves $512 million, which is expected to increase to $519.5 million by the time the money is divided.

The lawsuit settlement was reached in November 2021, weeks before the trial was scheduled to begin. Kroenke and the NFL were unsuccessful in dismissing the lawsuit or at least moving it out of St. Louis.

The lawsuit seeks more than $1 billion in damages, claiming the NFL allowed the relocation in violation of its own relocation guidelines and that the league and the Rams enriched themselves at the expense of the communities they left behind.

In 1995, then-owner Georgia Frontiere moved the Rams from Los Angeles to her hometown of St. Louis. Kroenke, a real estate developer in Missouri, is married to an heir to the Walmart fortune as a minority shareholder. Frontiere died in 2008, leaving the team to her children, who sold the Rams to Kroenke in 2010.

Shortly thereafter, the Rams sought multimillion-dollar upgrades to the dome, which was built with taxpayer money in the early 1990s to attract an NFL team. St. Louis interests initially proposed more modest upgrades before eventually proposing a new $1 billion stadium along the Mississippi River that would be funded jointly by taxpayers, teams and the NFL. Leagues and teams are hesitant.

Instead, Kroenke purchased land in Inglewood, Calif., and moved the team in 2016 with the approval of league owners. Opened in September 2020, SoFi Stadium is now home to the Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers, who moved from San Diego in 2017.

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