Rams facing two lawsuits from fans in St. Louis over move to L.A.
Stan Kroenke thought the people of Missouri would be understanding about the Rams move to L.A. They're not.
The Rams better hope they have a better record in the courtroom than they did on the field last season or they could be in trouble.
The team is facing two lawsuits stemming from their relocation to Los Angeles, which became official on Jan. 12.
In one lawsuit, several fans allege that the team violated Missouri's Merchandising Practices Act, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The lawsuit was filed because fans claim that the Rams acted with "deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise," in regards to their move.
The four fans who filed the lawsuit are hoping to win a settlement that would force the Rams to reimburse anyone who bought team merchandise between 2000 and 2015. The four fans say their allegation of "deception" and "fraud" is justified because Rams owner Stan Kroenke promised on multiple occasions to keep the team in St. Louis.
"I'm going to attempt to do everything I can to keep the Rams in St. Louis," Kroenke told the Post-Dispatch in 2010. "People know I am an honorable guy."
Rams COO Kevin Demoff said in 2012 that he was trying to build a winner in St. Louis now and for "2032 and beyond."
The fans allege that Kroenke and the Rams kept up their charade of claiming the team would stay in St. Louis all the way until the end of the 2015 regular season.
"Defendants never informed their customers of their intent to move the team to Inglewood during the applicable time period. Their first public acknowledgement of this fact was on Jan. 4, 2016, when defendants filed the application to relocate the St. Louis Rams to Inglewood," the lawsuit states.
The other lawsuit against the team was filed by personal seat license (PSL) holders in St. Louis. The attorney who filed that suit, David Bohm, says that the PSL agreements signed by his clients gave them the "the right to purchase season tickets for the assigned seats for each and every football season through the year 2025."
According to Bohm, the agreement didn't say anything about the PSL being in St. Louis or Los Angeles. A PSL in St. Louis would presumably be much cheaper than a PSL in L.A., and if St. Louis fans were able to keep their PSLs at the lower St. Louis rate, they could sell it for more or keep it or transfer it.
The Rams aren't going to let that happen though.
"It's our position that the PSL holders should be allowed to either purchase tickets in L.A., or to transfer their PSLs to those who want to purchase season tickets in L.A.," David Bohm told the Post-Dispatch.
According to Bohm, the Rams have "made it clear" that the team will not let St. Louis PSL holders buy season tickets in L.A. or transfer their PSLs to Los Angeles. The Rams aren't expected to start selling PSLs for Los Angeles until the situation with the Chargers or Raiders is resolved.
As for Kroenke, he seems oblivious to the entire situation and everything that's happening around him. In an interview with Sports Illustrated this week, the Rams owner said he thought the people of Missouri would be understanding of him moving the team.
"I think the people of Missouri get it," Kroenke said. "There will always be the emotional side, as I mentioned before. Sports fans are passionate. But this decision was not about me or St. Louis. It was about what was in the best long-term interest of the NFL and our 31 partners. Without a viable stadium option, we had to look at alternatives or wind up empty-handed."
Kroenke might have misread the situation because it doesn't seem like the fans in Missouri do "get it." Otherwise they wouldn't be suing him.
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