The Rams must grant season tickets to some people who bought personal seat licenses while the NFL team was in St. Louis, and those PSLs are still valid despite the team’s move to Los Angeles, according to a district court ruling issued Wednesday.
The Rams must also refund deposits for others who bought PSLs, though a district judge was unable to determine an amount for those deposits.
Three different parties have sued the Rams regarding the more than 46,000 people who bought PSLs before the team left for Los Angeles in January. In July, the three parties' lawsuits were consolidated into one case. Plaintiffs are represented by the Bruning Law Firm.
Two of the suing parties, Envision LLC and Richard Arnold, argued that their PSLs were still valid despite the Rams’ relocation and that they had the right to buy season tickets in Los Angeles. Some plaintiffs paid as much as $1,000 for the licenses, which grant the right to buy season tickets.
The Rams argued that the contracts were terminated by the move.
The third suing party, Ronald McAllister, argued that the Rams in effect terminated their contracts with PSL holders when they relocated, and PSL holders therefore deserved refunds on their deposits, based on the contract language.
A spokesperson for the Rams could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.
The ruling could be of great interest to St. Louis PSL owners who wish to sell their PSLs, now that the Rams franchise is worth significantly more and any potential PSLs for the new Rams stadium in Los Angeles could fetch much higher prices.
District Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr. based his ruling on the fact that two different kinds of PSL contracts were issued.
Some were sold by the Rams ticketing agent, FANS Inc., and the others were sold directly by the Rams.
Both the agreements say that, in the event the Rams play at a venue other than their regular St. Louis stadium, the Rams must “use its best efforts” to provide seats for PSL holders.
The judge ruled that people who bought PSLs from FANS cannot buy season tickets because the FANS contract clearly states that a Rams relocation would terminate the contract, thus rendering the “best efforts” language moot.
However, the Rams must “use its best efforts” to provide season tickets for people who bought PSLs directly from the team, because that particular contract never states the PSL agreement is terminated by relocation.
Even though both the FANS and Rams contracts say a PSL holder cannot sue for damages over PSLs, the Rams failed to present that as an argument or even mention it in court, according to Wednesday’s ruling.
In the McAllister lawsuit, the judge pointed out that the FANS contract says the Rams have the right to terminate the PSL contract for any reason and refund “part or all” of the PSL holder’s deposit.
However, “deposit” is not defined in the FANS contract. The judge promised to determine the amount of a deposit at a later date.
The Rams now play at the Los Angeles Coliseum. They are expected to play at a new stadium in Inglewood, Calif., starting in 2019.