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Kroenke and NFL worked hand in hand to hide Rams’ relocation plans, Post-Dispatch finds

Stan Kroenke, shown at a 2012 press conference, won a round in his litigation with St. Louis over the Rams' departure for Los Angeles.
File photo / Bill Greenblatt
Stan Kroenke, shown at a 2012 press conference

A new investigation by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reveals Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the NFL worked hand in hand to keep fans in the dark about relocation efforts, in part to avoid hurting ticket sales.

The Post-Dispatch obtained hundreds of court exhibits, which expose a pattern of lying to the public about stadium plans in Los Angeles and a carefully concocted public relations plan to paint the region to the league as declining.

How Kroenke and the NFL concealed Rams’ relocation

“[Stan Kroenke] wanted to make it very clear to the owners, and the league itself, that St. Louis was a bad investment,” business reporter Austin Huguelet said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, “and that Los Angeles was a good investment.”

The investigation comes six months after St. Louis settled with the NFL and Kroenke for $790 million.

Only one owner in the league voted against the relocation, Mike Brown of the Cincinnati Bengals.

“At the end of the day, the owners decided that whole thing was a great idea and went along with it,” Huguelet said.

Huguelet was part of a three-person team that reported the story, including courts reporter Joel Currier and breaking business news and civil litigation reporter Katie Kull. Now, Huguelet just has one last request for NFL Commissioner Robert Goodell.

“I'd love him to give me a call back.”

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Emily Woodbury, Kayla Drake, Danny Wicentowski and Alex Heuer. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Kayla is a general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.