Will the Rams Owe Fans $50 Million for Moving to LA?
The Rams move from St. Louis to Los Angeles spread waves across the football community. Not only was L.A opening its doors to football again, but St. Louis is losing a team that was a staple of the city. Thirty of 32 National Football League teams approved the plan of Rams owner Stan Kroenke to move. Kroenke plans to move the site to Inglewood California, ten miles from downtown Los Angeles, to a Hollywood Park racetrack. This is a $1.8 billion project, and $550 million fee to move the Rams. The costs may go up a little more, depending on the decision of a judge in Missouri
Following the news, enraged St. Louis fans filed multiple lawsuits against the Rams. One particular lawsuit concerns season-ticket holders. Ronald McAllister, a season-ticket holder in St. Louis, filed a class action against the Rams. McAllister seeks a refund for the multiple years of his personal seat license (PSL) that will no longer be honored because of the move.
Personal seat licenses allowed season ticket holders to reserve seats for all home games through 2024. Each year costs a deposit of $1,000. According to one of the attorneys, the un-honored seat licenses ranges from $20 to $25 million, but damages rise to $50 million for the class with interest. The Rams defended themselves by pointing to the contract, which contains a clause prohibiting the fans to sue the Rams. However the complaint states “[w]ithout providing the [license] owner any means to hold the Rams to their supposed promises, this purported contract allows the Rams to perform their obligations or not, solely on condition of their whim.” Therefore the clause is illusory and should not bar the claim.
On July 21, 2016 the leading class member asked the court to issue partial judgement on the pleadings related to his breach of contract claim against the Los Angeles Rams. According to McAllister, passages of the agreement dictate the Rams are obligated to refund some or all of the deposit if it “terminates” the deal. Based on Missouri law and Merriam-Webster Dictionary, McAllister argues this favors his case.