Jerry Jones: Every opportunity was given for the Rams to remain in St. Louis

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The pending lawsuit over the relocation of the Rams continues to generate not nearly as much attention as it should, what with a trial looming in January, all legal obstacles to that trial removed, and owners like Stan Kroenke and Jerry Jones facing a court order to disclose financial information in support of a potential punitive damages award or pay $1,000 each per day until they do.

No NFL-owned or operated media entity — not NFL Network, NFL.com, or any team-run website — have even glanced at the third rail created by the Rams relocation litigation. To their credit, the folks at 105.3 The Fan (the Cowboys’ flagship radio station, at least for now) went there in a Friday visit with Jones, the audio of which was then posted without editing on the team’s official site.

“I can appreciate St. Louis’s concern or St. Louis’s interest in losing an NFL team,” Jones said in response to a general inquiry about the status of the case. “And I see that. I know how special they are. And so it’s a product of that. I know first hand — first hand — I’m very familiar with Missouri, and I’m very familiar with how the Rams operated in Missouri. And Stan Kroenke’s commitment and the type of sensitivity that he had and his love for Missouri. I know all of that first hand. And it was outstanding. And so every opportunity was given for the Rams to remain in St. Louis, in my view. So having said that, hopefully this thing will seek its right level.”

The folks in St. Louis may disagree with that. Strongly. Many would claim that Kroenke plotted the move from the moment he exercised a right of first refusal to match Shad Khan’s offer for the team after the passing of Georgia Frontiere. At the very latest, they’d say the plan fell into place when Kroenke bought the land in Inglewood on which SoFi Stadium would be built, followed by a series of alleged or actual lies about what he intended to do with it.

At its core, the argument is that Kroenke was never going to stay in St. Louis, that he and the league went through the motions of the relocation guidelines pending an ownership-vote rubber stamp that would authorize a move, relocation guidelines be damned. And while folks like Jones would say that all’s fair in love, war, football, and multi-billion-dollar construction projects, lines may have been crossed. Barring a settlement, a trial will occur on that very question.

Some of the scant national reporting on the subject suggests that the league is willing to hang its hat on the appeal process (which to date hasn’t done much to get the league what it wants, whether that’s an order compelling arbitration or a reversal of the mandate to surrender financial information). That could be what Jones means when he vaguely says that “hopefully this thing will seek its right level.” Its right appellate level, where judges with the power to review the decisions made in St. Louis will start overturning rulings and protecting business interests, like so many courts now do.

That’s one of the very real, and overlooked, realities of the swing in many states toward conservative political ideologies. The judges who have those beliefs generally tend to interpret and apply the law in a way that protects people with money and power over those who lack either or both. It’s a basic fact, proven over and over again through years of American jurisprudence. And the NFL may be hanging its hat on the fact that, eventually and/or inevitably, the case will land on the docket of just enough judges who are of a red-hat mindset, allowing the league to escape whatever financial sanctions may be applied at the trial-court level.

Of course, that won’t save Kroenke or Jones or other owners from having to testify in open court. That’s where the fireworks could happen, and no eventual reversal on appeal will rewind time to the moment before Kroenke or Jones or Roger Goodell or anyone else gets twisted into knots on the witness stand.

47 responses to “Jerry Jones: Every opportunity was given for the Rams to remain in St. Louis

  1. If St Louis is so enamored with having a team why or how did the cardinals wind up in Az? It was subsequent to that when the rams came and went. Something must be non conducive to having a team there.

  2. Ultimately, the cities that lost those teams are at fault. You tell them no when they ask about getting a new stadium, then whine when they leave after begging for a stadium. He waited years for approval, just like Spanos in San Diego. So, boo freaking hoo!

  3. St Louis can rest easy knowing they’ll be cheering for Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs in a couple years

  4. St. Louis is a two-time loser of NFL franchises, first the Cardinals and then the Rams. They are second only to Oakland CA in being an embarrassment for being able to retain a professional team. This lawsuit will ultimately be either dismissed or overturned exactly as it should be.

  5. Uh, didn’t St. Louis steal the Rams from LA? Didn’t the Cardinals bolt for Phoenix? St. Louis is a baseball town!

  6. I’m not sure that court testimony will tie them up into knots. In fact, I’m sure they will be well prepared & have all the top lawyer’s there making sure the questions are restricted & as narrowly scoped as possible. I expect it to be boring to watch.

  7. St. Louis stole the Rams from Los Angeles. Then, and in writing, St. Louis stipulated that they would keep the Edwards Jones Dome in the top 25% of the league. When the Dome no longer qualified due to all the new stadiums being built, the Rams hired an outside firm to determine what it would take for the Dome to be brought back into compliance. When presented that figure, St. Louis balked… said they didn’t have the money to bring the Dome up to specification. All this seems pretty academic, St. Louis wasn’t able to adhere to the terms they agreed to of the lease. That owner Stan Kroenke bought land in Inglewood, CA doesn’t matter. Any shrewd business man wouldn’t put all his chips on one color, he’d hedge his bets. He’d investigate what options there were outside St. Louis while St. Louis was determining if they could afford the stadium upgrades or not. If St. Louis would’ve come up with the money, the stadium would’ve been brought back into compliance and the Rams would’ve remained there. The Inglewood land Kroenke bought would’ve been developed into a mall, shop, housing, and other. When St. Louis finally admitted they couldn’t afford the upgrades that’s when legally, the Rams had every right to exercise the terms of the lease and leave for a better situation. Really, there’s nothing to see here other than a spurned and jealous partner after an ugly split. It’s nothing anyone hasn’t seen before many many times since high school.

  8. St. Louis made promises to get the Rams to move there. They didn’t keep their promises. Broke them just like what they did to the Cardinals. When you get a second chance, you don’t drag your feet. There are so many places that don’t have NFL football. Oregon, Alabama, Oklahoma, Ontario. If you want to play in the big leagues you got to pay.

  9. St. Louis agreed to a terrible deal to bring the Rams to their city and couldn’t live up to the agreement. The agreement stated that the stadium had to be at a certain level, and after only a decade, it did not meet that standard.

    While I don’t think the Rams made a massive effort to stay there, the Rams didn’t break the agreement illegally, as the contract allowed the Rams to end it after 20 years if the stadium wasn’t at a certain level. Additionally, the rams wanted St. Louis to use public funds for a new stadium. At the same time, in the move to LA, the owner spent 5 billion of his own or at least private funds for the new Sofi stadium, so the “gave every opportunity” statement isn’t true.

    Rams are not wrong for moving, and St. Louis should move on and learn not to agree to things you can’t maintain. St. Louis may get a settlement, but I don’t see how they could win the case.

  10. Once this leaves state court its over for St. Louis. They’re getting favorable rulings by local courts and once the appeals go federal they will lose. The city is at fault any business can move whenever they want would they be suing Amazon here ? or Tesla ?

  11. Yawn. It’s like me fighting a parking ticket. I will kick up a fuss, lose, and pay the $35.

  12. Danielle K says:
    September 25, 2021 at 9:38 am
    St Louis can rest easy knowing they’ll be cheering for Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs in a couple years
    —————————————————————————————————
    The couldn’t keep two different NFL teams and are suing one of them. You think another team would want to move in? Really?

  13. To see Goodell commit perjury on a federal stand for the 4th time, will be glorious.

    The ultimate cheater.

  14. Kroenke’s alleged “love for Missouri” evaporated when his accountants told him that he’d make more money by re-located to SoCal. Kroenke’s true love is for money. Period. Full stop.

  15. Right is right, Florio. Having money/power doesn’t make one wrong. Not having it doesn’t make one right.

  16. Billionaires asking the government to tax the people to pay for their stadiums. And when they don’t, they move to a location that will. Damn, wish I could get the government to build my art studio/gallery, promise to keep it within just few million, give or take an upgrade here and there.

  17. St Louis didn’t attempt to do anything until Stan announced the move. As a lifelong Rams fan that followed this closely the city of St Louis is broke and attempting to get money to save face, pure and simple. Same crap city of San Diego pulled.

  18. There will be a large settlement. No way the NFL owners let this go to trial. Last thing billionaires want to do is open their books up. Game set match for the city in their home court system.

  19. To be honest, I don’t understand why people want a pro football team in their city or state. I love the Cowboys but I will never live in Dallas and I would never want them to relocate here.

  20. St. Louis was NOT given any opportunity, much less every opportunity. Stan the carpetbagger saw HIS opportunity to go to LA, act like some conquering hero, and took it. The Raiders on the other hand, now that’s a situation where the city ran off the team. That story isn’t being told enough. They FORCED the Raiders out. They encouraged the Warriors to build in SF. And as I write this, Oakland is doing its best to run the A’s outta there. St. Louis got screwed, and Oakland screwed all its pro sports fans, and all the income they were bringing. Oakland would rather be reliant on the federal government for its survival, like some of my neighbors who prefer that monthly check over working.

  21. You can’t make a business stay in your crappy state/city. St. Louis has zero claim to authority over Kroenke’s corporation and where it’s located.

  22. The Cowboys have not played in the City of Dallas in years. Why is that? Is it because the City of Dallas won’t fork over a ton of money for a new stadium? Erving, Arlington, what’s next Fort Worth?

  23. And so every opportunity was given for the Rams to be paid by the taxpayers to remain in St. Louis.

    Fixed that for ya Jerrah.

  24. Jerry Jones is a liar. There was a committee that recommended the Raiders/Chargers bid over the Rama for LA/ he wanted ten richest owner to go to LA so they could create the conglomerate stadium and media centre. He’s the guy who got the new age rich owner to overlook the recommendation. It’s all about the $$$ got Jerry.

  25. St. Louis lined up the financing package that Kroenke and the league wanted for a new stadium. The Rams left for LA and greener pastures anyway. So Jerry is full of it.

  26. It is interesting that the RAMS left St. Louis because the city wouldn’t pay for stadium renovations, and then Stan Kroenke built a brand new stadium with his own money in LA. He could have done that in St. Louis if he really wanted to stay. It seems he only “wanted” to stay if taxpayers footed the bill.

  27. I can only hope as a tax payer in Missouri. when the State wins its law suit that the state will pay back the people for that stadium that was forced upon us to build with tax dollars. After you win, St. Louis you well never have another NFL team in your city.

  28. Behind the scenes, the NFL owners and league office are probably sweating this. When Jerry, Stan, Goofdell, etc. have to testify, and the league has to open its books, the league isn’t going to get funding for these billion dollar white elephants.

  29. When the Rams started making demands or they would move St Louis met those demands but the Rams moved anyway. The judge wouldn’t dismiss the case because St Louis has a case.

    When Goodell gets on the stand and has to answer questions about the NFL wanting a franchise in LA and didn’t want to expand the league and Kroenke has to answer questions about studies showing how much more he’d make in LA they’ll be doomed.

  30. “Lines may have been crossed.”

    That’s really all the St. Louis team has shown so far. Even this article acknowledges that Kroenke, as crooked as he might be, followed the relocation guidelines, as loose and riddled with openings for loopholes as they might be. So he “went through the motions,” but those motions were enough to authorize the relocation.

  31. Who’d want to play football in St. Louis? Ferguson right down the road. It’s like playing football in the highest crime area in Sudan. However, the grass isn’t always greener, or safer, Watts/South Central right down the road. Peace.

  32. Into the microphone please Jerry, so the court stenographer can get it down for the record. NFL should’ve realized they had reached a point a few steps on this path ago that made it in their interest to open their wallets, so threat they didn’t have to open their phones, their email, being out on the record in a court of law. Privacy is worth much more, too them. I’ll call it now if this does keep going down this same path about 3-6 months after the full financial disclosures we’ll be hearing about the IRS. NFL approaches everything from a perspective of presumptive arrogance. This time it may put them in the dunk tank in a way billionaires and the famous hate. Full on the record public, personal disclosure. This story has juice

  33. Don’t you know that the NFL just LOVES Jerrah’s BIG MOUTH at a sensitive time before a BIG lawsuit trial ?!!! Lol

  34. I doubt Stan, Jerry, Captain Goodell or the NFL will care about $1000/day fine. Even if each defendant were to refuse, at $1000 day x 365 days. that’s only $365,000 for each of them a year, less then the #50 man on a roster gets paid.
    Even over the course of 10 years that’s only $3.650 million per defendant… less then teams pay a back up tackle. Go ahead and fine them all you want.

    I will also guarantee that the defendants, in totality will take the civil court version of the 5th amendment on every business question that involves a ‘conspiriousy’ which is probably almost every question and they will have a team of very very high priced lawyers to signal them after every question if they should answer or not.

    Good luck St. Louis.

    Years ago, Seattle almost lost the Seahawks until literally the city caved and agreed to partly build a new stadium for billionaire Paul Allen if he agreed to buy the team to ‘save it’ from moving to LA.
    They were 48 hours from seeing another “midnight move” — Threats of lawsuits from the city didn’t matter then, it won’t when Oakland sues the Raiders/NFL for the move to Vegas (which will be the #1 all time best franchise move in the history of the NFL)
    The owners can afford way better lawyers and legal teams then the cities. And yes, that matters, and yes, they knew they weren’t going to get a summary judgement. They understand stall tactics and will use it every chance they get. Good Luck St. Louis!

  35. Looks like there are a lot of legal experts above. The Rams/NFL’s motion for summary judgment was denied, meaning St. Louis’ legal claims are deemed worthy of a trial. Lets let the judge and jury decide the outcome shall we?

  36. St Louis cares about the Cardinals and Blues. Missouri cares about the Chiefs and the Wildcats lol. Absolutely no one in STL cared about the Rams with the exception of the few Kurt Warner years LMAOOOO

  37. The NFL and the team owners are the kind of people that after shaking their hands, you need to count your fingers.

  38. ”That owner Stan Kroenke bought land in Inglewood, CA doesn’t matter.”

    ———————————————————————————-

    A small club of billionaires yanked the St. Louis team because they all decided it was unacceptable that the city would not maintain a top level stadium at taxpayer expense and LA is a bigger market. These terms will be challenged in court [who says, for example, that teams have to upgrade right away, every year? Does the prior lease really say ”top 25%, every year, right away?”] and this will hit Kroenke’s wallet hard, as it should.

  39. Why wouldn’t the U.S. allow a business to leave a market that isn’t allowing them to grow? St. Louis can be upset but at the end of the day the Gov’t isn’t going to get involved when a business leaves CA for TX. Why should they get involved when an NFL team (e.g. a “business”) leaves St. Louis for LA?

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