St. Louis filed a lawsuit against the National Football League on Wednesday over last year’s decision to let the Rams relocate to Los Angeles. City authorities, the county, and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority—which owns the team’s former stadium in St. Louis—filed a 52-page complaint over the decision, accusing the league of violating its own relocation guidelines. The NFL voted to allow the Rams to move to L.A. in January 2016 after the team filed for relocation rights, a move that left fans in St. Louis outraged and disappointed. The move came after authorities in St. Louis spent $17 million on designs and plans for a new stadium, The New York Times reported.
“The N.F.L., through its member teams and the votes of the teams’ owners, approved the relocation of the Rams despite the failure of the Rams franchise to meet its obligations under the relocation policy or even to offer a credible, persuasive statement of reasons concerning the factors set out in the relocation policy,” the plaintiffs argued in the lawsuit. The lawsuit also says St. Louis authorities were urged to build a new stadium for the team shortly before the relocation decision was made, a factor that should have been taken into account when voting on the relocation. The NFL “failed to apply and enforce the policy’s standards and procedures,” the plaintiffs said. The city, the county, and the stadium owners are now seeking damages worth more than $1 billion. The NFL dismissed the lawsuit as having “no legitimate basis” late Wednesday, saying the Rams’ relocation process was “honest and fair at all times.”