St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Christopher McGraugh did the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda a giant solid in his denial of the NFL’s pre-trail motion to dismiss various aspects of the lawsuit brought against it for the approval of the St. Louis Rams move to Los Angeles.
On Wednesday, Judge McGraugh allowed city of St. Louis, St. Louis County and the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority claims of breach of contract to stand as the basis for what may be a court trial unless the League elects to settle with the parties. What I will collectively call The City of St Louis argues that the NFL violated its own relocation policy in the process of approving the St. Louis Rams move, and thus were guilty of a breach of contract.
Since San Diego and Oakland were part of the same triangle of actions the NFL undertook to relocate the San Diego Chargers, the St. Louis Rams, and the Oakland Raiders, and all referred to the same relocation policy as a contract the NFL itself did not follow, what happened in St. Louis opens the door to what could be winable lawsuits in San Diego and particularly in Oakland.
“Foreover Oakland”, a coalition of Raiders fans that secured two top sports lawyers, and tried to get the City of Oakland and Alameda County to join it, were initially rebuffed because the Oakland elected officials were concerned they may lose the court battle and be on the hook for millions of dollars. But Wednesday’s actions in St. Louis will cause the NFL to produce potentially damaging communications that would strengthen Oakland’s case.
So, let’s see what the NFL does: go ahead with what will be a damaging defense process, or settle – and that settlement would open the door for similar actions in Oakland and San Diego.