The fight between the NFL and St. Louis has sparked an important collateral battle between Rams owner Stan Kroenke and his partners over whether Kroenke will be on the hook for the final settlement or judgment in the Rams relocation action.
Appearing on Friday’s Back on the Record with Bob Costas on HBO, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones — a Kroenke ally — took issue with the notion that Kroenke is trying to back away from his commitment to his partners.
“Let me say this about Stan,” Jones sai. “He doesn’t back away. He’s made a tremendous, a huge contribution to sports and to the NFL. And so we’re into the issues of contention here, and obviously it’s litigation and so I’m not going to be able to comment specifically about it. But make no mistake about it. Just as St. Louis is a fabulous, great city, Stan Kroenke is a man of principle.”
Jones is able to try to thread the needle for Kroenke (although many in St. Louis would reasonably disagree on the “man of princple” thing) because the indemnity agreement from which backing away was drafted in a way that he’s not really backing away from anything. The indemnity language arguably encompasses litigation costs and attorney’s fees, not the final price of resolution.
Of course, if Kroenke succeeds, Jones will be on the hook for 1/32nd of the total cost of settlement or judgment. He’ll likely make all of that back and a lot more on top of it, however, given the money that his Legends Hospitality company will generate from its partnership with Kroenke’s L.A. venue.