ST. LOUIS (CN) – The Los Angeles Rams will pay up to $24 million to former personal seat license owners in St. Louis and another $7.4 million in attorney’s fees and expenses to settle a class action over the football team’s relocation.
The figures were released in a motion for preliminary approval filed in St. Louis federal court Wednesday.
Personal seat licenses, or PSLs, were a one-time fee that gave the buyer the right to buy season tickets to Rams games in St. Louis, which didn’t include the price of the ticket. The original PSLs were good for 30 years, but the Rams moved to Los Angeles in January 2016 after just 21 seasons.
The settlement awards PSL holders the equivalent of nine years’ worth of their PSL purchase price.
The value of the PSL varied depending on the seat so the amount that each class member will receive will range from as low as $75 to up to several thousand dollars.
Fernando Bermudez, an attorney for one of the firms representing the plaintiffs, said it was a good deal for PSL holders.
“Of course, we would have wanted more,” Bermudez told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Of course the Rams would have wanted less. But with the help of a former Missouri Supreme Court judge (Ray Price), we came to a figure that is reasonable and that everyone could live with.” (Parentheses in original.)
Price served as mediator in the case.
Attorneys representing the Rams did not immediately respond to emails sent Thursday morning seeking comment.
The settlement covers several class actions filed by disgruntled St. Louis football fans in the immediate aftermath of the Rams departure for more lucrative California soil. The lawsuits were eventually consolidated into one.
There are two classes within the settlement. There is the “FANS class” representing original PSL holders who bought season tickets from the FANS Inc. civic group when the team moved to St. Louis. The other is the “Rams class” representing PSL owners who bought their PSLs after March 31, 1996, when the Rams took over the PSL process.
Since the wording in those contracts was different, the legal arguments for each class differed. However, the award money is the same for both classes.
The Rams still face a lawsuit from St. Louis over the move to L.A., claiming the Rams and the National Football League failed to meet the league’s own relocation guidelines. A motion by the Rams to have the matter moved to arbitration was recently denied by a Missouri appeals court.