The city of St. Louis sued the NFL over the Rams’ relocation to Los Angeles and is seeking $1 billion in damages, Reuters reported Wednesday.
The suit alleges that the league violated its own relocation guidelines and profited off the move that left St. Louis without a football team for the first time since 1995. The lawsuit, filed in St. Louis Circuit Court 15 months after the Rams left for L.A., names the league, all 32 teams and their owners.
“While we understand the disappointment of the St. Louis fans and the community, we worked diligently with local and state officials in a process that was honest and fair at all times,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to Reuters.
The suit alleges Rams owner Stan Kroenke began plotting a move back to Los Angeles soon after he purchased the team outright in 2010. The Rams moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis before the 1995 season after the city offered to build a new publicly funded dome stadium.
“In the years leading up to the Rams relocation request, Rams officials decided to move the team and confidentially determined that they would be interested in exploiting any opportunity to do so,” the lawsuit states, according to the Associated Press.
The suit alleges that the city will have lost more than $100 million in net proceeds from the move. The Rams currently play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum while their stadium in Inglewood is expected to open in 2019.
The NFL has allowed three teams to relocate in a little more than a year. The Chargers left San Diego and will join the Rams in Los Angeles starting this season, and NFL owners approved the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, which is expected to occur before the start of the 2020 season.