Rams Fans Sue Team Saying Move to Los Angeles Is BetrayalKartikay Mehrotra and Tim Bross
Stan Kroenke accused of disparaging St. Louis in bid to move
Class action case filed on behalf of tens of thousands of fans
St. Louis Rams fans sued the team a day after the National Football League approved moving the franchise to Los Angeles, claiming owner Stan Kroenke misled them about his intentions.
Kroenke promised a future for the team in St. Louis as recently as 2014 in a radio interview, fans said in a complaint filed Wednesday in Missouri state court. The deception violates the state’s Merchandising Practices Act because locals wouldn’t have spent money on season tickets and team-related goods had they known the Rams would relocate to Los Angeles by next season, according to the complaint, which was filed as a class action on behalf of tens of thousands of fans.
Alan Bornstein, an attorney for the Rams, declined to comment on the case.
The NFL’s vote Tuesday to let the team return to Los Angeles gives the league a presence in the second-largest U.S. city for the first time in more than two decades, unlocking billions of dollars for what’s already the richest and most-watched North American sport.
In his application to move the Rams, Kroenke misrepresented St. Louis’s economic status when he wrote that the city “lags and will continue to lag far behind in the economic drivers that are necessary for sustained success of an NFL franchise,” according to the complaint.
Steven Stolze, a lawyer representing the fans, said he’d received many calls from residents seeking to join the suit.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” he said in a phone interview.
The case is Pudlowski v. St. Louis Rams LLC, 1622-CC00083, Circuit of St. Louis, Missouri.