St. Louis is suing the NFL and the Rams over team's move to Los Angeles

If the Rams thought they were going to get a clean break from St. Louis, they thought wrong. The breakup between the team and the city is now even messier thanks to a 52-page lawsuit that was filed Wednesday by the city of St. Louis, along with St. Louis County and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority. 

The Rams aren't the only defendants listed in the lawsuit, which was obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The NFL and the league's 31 other teams are also listed as defendants.

The lawsuit was filed because the three entities in St. Louis are seeking damages and the restitution of profits that they lost stemming from the Rams' move to Los Angeles. 

"The City of St. Louis has lost an estimated $1.85 - $3.5 million each year in amusement and ticket tax collections. It has lost approximately $7.5 million in property tax," the lawsuit states. "It has lost approximately $1.4 million in sales tax. It has lost millions in earnings taxes. The City of St. Louis will have lost over $100 million in net proceeds due to the improper conduct described above." 

The suit also states that the Rams' move allegedly cost thousands of job to the county. 

"The County of St. Louis has lost hotel and property tax revenue, as well as sales tax revenue," the suit reads. The failure to approve the new stadium cost approximately 2,750 jobs in construction and more than 600 jobs per year in the City of St. Louis.

According to the plaintiffs, the lawsuit has merit because the Rams didn't meet the NFL's standard for relocation. 

"The Rams, the NFL, through its member teams, and the owners have violated the obligations and standards governing team relocations," the suit states. 

The NFL's relocation rules only allow a team to move if the club has "diligently engaged in good faith efforts" to get a stadium deal done. 

The city of St. Louis doesn't believe that the league acted in good faith, especially since the city ended up approving a stadium plan in December 2015

Under that plan, the city would've pitched in in $150 million of the estimated $1.1 billion stadium cost. Another $550 million would've come from the NFL and the Rams, with the team adding $250 million and the league kicking in $300 million. At the time, the city said that the state would pay for the rest of the stadium.

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This is what the Rams' stadium in St. Louis might have looked like.  HOK Architecture

The city claims that it spent more than $17 million putting the stadium plan together, something that it wouldn't have done if it knew the Rams were leaving. However, the city says that the Rams lied about relocation, which is why the city thought the Rams were staying. 

The lawsuit lists multiple instances where members of the Rams' front office said that the team would never leave St. Louis. 

As recently as February 2014, Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff promised fans that the Rams wouldn't move. The team moved two years later when NFL owners approved their relocation in January 2016. 

Besides this lawsuit, the Rams are facing at least two other lawsuits over their move. One was filed by fans who say they have the right to personal seat licenses in Los Angeles, even if they bought them in St. Louis. The other lawsuit revolves around the Rams' practice facility in Missouri. 

The team pays $25,000 a year to rent the land, thanks to a favorable lease, though the Rams will have the option of buying their practice facility in 2024 for just $1. The St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority is trying to block that from happening. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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