It took nearly 12 months, but it appears the NFL has finally figured out who will be footing the bill for the $790 million settlement that the league made with the city of St. Louis last November.
According to ESPN, the NFL‘s 32 owners are set to approve a resolution Tuesday that will call for Kroenke to foot the bill for $571 million of the $790 million settlement. The rest of the money will be coming from the NFL’s 32 teams, who were somewhat surprised earlier this year when they found out they would be contributing to the bill. Back in May, the NFL deducted $7.5 million from each team’s revenue-sharing payment, and the league used that money to help pay the settlement.
The teams were surprised to lose that money because most of them were expecting Kroenke to foot the entire bill for the settlement. The issue has been a contentious one that has been hanging over the league’s head since the St. Louis settlement was originally announced Nov. 24.
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In the days leading up to that settlement, Kroenke had sent an email to the NFL making it clear that he did not expect to be paying the entire bill. Since St. Louis was suing all 32 teams, Kroenke threatened to reach his own individual settlement with the city, which would have left the other 31 teams out to dry.
The reason this issue got contentious is because Kroenke didn’t feel that he was legally required to pay the entire settlement. Kroenke covered the legal fees in the case, but he had an indemnification agreement in place and didn’t believe the language in that agreement required him to pay the settlement. (Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio outlined here why Kroenke actually had a pretty strong legal leg to stand on.)
The lawsuit was originally filed by the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County and the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority all the way back in 2017. The lawsuit was filed because the plaintiffs felt that the Rams “violated the obligations and standards governing team relocations” by moving the franchise. Basically, the city of St. Louis and the other plaintiffs felt that the Rams broke the NFL’s relocation guidelines when they left town and that the other 31 teams are at fault because they voted to let the Rams move.
In the end, Kroenke’s decision to move the team from St. Louis to Los Angeles is going to cost him $571 million on top of everything else he’s already paid for. The Rams moved to L.A. prior to the 2016 season after spending 21 seasons in St. Louis.
Although Kroenke will be forking over a huge chunk of change, he shouldn’t have any problem doing that. According to Bloomberg, the Rams owner has a net worth of $12.5 billion.