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The city of St. Louis filed a lawsuit yesterday against the National Football League over the Rams' relocation to Los Angeles, alleging the league violated its own relocation guidelines and enriched itself at the expense of the community it left behind.
The move comes 15 months after the team departed. St. Louis is joined in the lawsuit by St. Louis County and the region's sports authority. The lawsuit filed in St. Louis Circuit Court names the NFL, all 32 teams and their owners, and seeks unspecified but "extensive" damages and restitution. The NFL says there is "no legitimate basis" for the lawsuit.
The Rams moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis prior to the 1995 season, lured in part by a new taxpayer-built domed stadium. Stan Kroenke, a real estate billionaire and native of Missouri, was minority owner of the team until purchasing it outright in 2010, two years after the death of longtime majority owner Georgia Frontiere.
The suit claims that it wasn't long afterward that Kroenke began plotting a move, despite public comments from him and team executive Kevin Demoff that the Rams hoped to remain in St. Louis for the long term.
The lawsuit notes that since St. Louis officials weren't aware a move was essentially a done deal, they spent millions developing plans for a riverfront stadium project aimed at retaining the Rams.
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