Stan Kroenke, the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Rams, will pay the remaining $571 million left of the NFL’s settlement with St. Louis after Kroenke moved the team away from the city in 2016, according to ESPN, putting to rest a yearslong dramatic saga over who would foot the bill as infighting among NFL owners reaches a boiling point.
The league’s owners are set to pass a measure at their Tuesday meeting for Kroenke to cover the remainder of the $790 million settlement the league reached with St. Louis authorities last year, anonymous owners and executives told ESPN.
The NFL has already paid off $219 million of the settlement, ESPN reports, meaning each team paid about $7 million, and the NFL charged the league’s 31 other teams that amount earlier this year, per the Athletic.
Kroenke, who had previously vowed to cover all associated legal fees with the move, became an unpopular figure among other owners due to the payment tiff, which is the “most contentious dispute in more than a decade,” a league source told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year.
NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy declined to comment on the report, while the Rams and city of St. Louis did not immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment.
Kroenke took a majority stake in the Rams in 2010 and made a surprise announcement to relocate the team six years later, causing the city to sue him, alleging Kroenke knowingly misled the city into believing he would keep the Rams there. Kroenke’s capitulation comes at a welcome time as tensions among owners are running particularly high after ESPN released an explosive report alleging Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder is blackmailing other owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Snyder, who the NFL fined $10 million last year for overseeing an abusive workplace and who is also under Congressional investigation, said the NFL “is a mafia” and “all the owners hate each other,” according to ESPN. A team spokesperson denied the veracity of ESPN’s reporting in a statement to Forbes, “It’s hard to imagine a piece that is more categorically untrue.”
We estimate Kroenke to be worth $12.9 billion, the 135th largest fortune in the world, thanks to his real estate portfolio and stakes in the Rams, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the Premier League’s Arsenal. The Rams are the third-most valuable NFL team, per our calculations, worth $6.2 billion, more than 400% more than its value in 2015, the year before it relocated.
What To Watch For
If owners bring any sort of punishment against Snyder at Tuesday’s meeting. The league is unlikely to vote on forcing Snyder to sell the Commanders despite the increasingly long list of alleged misconduct, according to several outlets.
The Rams Owner Who’s Hosting the Super Bowl—and in a War With Other NFL Owners (Wall Street Journal)