NFL wants to relocate from St. Louis again, this time the Rams move lawsuit

NFL wants to relocate from St. Louis again, this time the Rams move lawsuit

In 2016, the NFL allowed the Rams to relocate from St. Louis to Los Angeles. The league now wants to relocate the ensuing litigation out of St. Louis, too.

The NFL filed, under seal, a change-of-venue motion last week in Missouri Circuit Court, where the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority sued the NFL and the 32 teams in 2017. The motion may be filed under seal, but any change-of-venue bid is offered for one basic reason: The party does not believe it can get a fair trial in the local court. The case is scheduled for a jury trial in January.

The Rams’ relocation from St. Louis can be a third-rail subject in the Gateway City, arousing passion and vitriol directed at the NFL and, in particular, Rams owner Stan Kroenke. During the home games of the XFL’s short-lived St. Louis BattleHawks in 2020, fans would loudly curse Kroenke’s name. At St. Louis Blues games against Kroenke’s NHL team, the Colorado Avalanche, similar chants are voiced.

“If ever there was a circumstance where I would think that the defendants would want to bring a change-of-venue motion, this is it,” said Amy Trask, an attorney and former president of the Oakland Raiders who also is a contributing writer for The Athletic. “My view that a change-of-venue motion is appropriate is not simply borne of my years in the league or my legal education, after all, anyone who watched ‘Matlock’ (or any legal show) could see this coming.”

Others, however, are not as sanguine that a change of venue out of St Louis is necessary to give the NFL a fair trial.

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