“Bad blood” from relocation litigation could prevent another NFL team from landing in St. Louis

·2 min read

The fact that only one day of mediation resulted in a lump-sum settlement between St. Louis and the NFL means that an expansion team won’t be part of the negotiated package. Instead, the St. Louis entities get a lump-sum payment.

So will the conclusion of the courtroom hostilities in a mutually-acceptable manner lay the foundation for the NFL returning to St. Louis if/when (when) the league inevitably expands? At one source with knowledge of the dynamics predicted on Wednesday, the “bad blood” arising from the months of litigation that eventually forced the league to fork over nearly $800 million means that the NFL’s business in St. Louis has been concluded for a very long time, if not for good.

Some will say that the NFL will eventually need St. Louis if, as we recently explained, the league could begin a push toward 40 teams. Even if two teams land in London, that’s six domestic locations that will be needed, in time.

But here’s the reality. The future growth of the league will be driven not by dropping teams in specific cities but by broadcasting games to all of them, specifically to the ones in which sports betting is legal. Smaller markets with smaller stadium can support teams moving forward, because the “where” doesn’t matter. The revenue from the game location doesn’t matter. The TV and gambling money from each game will become the key.

What matters is more. More teams. More games. And the push by St. Louis for more from the league after the Rams left could mean that any eventual expansion plans will pass St. Louis by.

Thus, all that St. Louis will possibly ever get from the NFL, ever again, is the current $790 million settlement.

“Bad blood” from relocation litigation could prevent another NFL team from landing in St. Louis originally appeared on Pro Football Talk