New Stadium

Supporters of legislation that would force a public vote on funding for the new football stadium show the results of a city-wide poll on the use of public dollars.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Efforts to force a citywide vote on public funding for a proposed new football stadium north of Laclede's Landing remain alive at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, but future forward progress will be difficult.

Members of the city's Convention and Tourism Committee heard two hours of testimony on 15th Ward Democrat Megan-Elliya Green's bill Monday without taking a vote.

Paul Curtman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcome back state Rep. Paul Curtman to the program.

The Republican, from Union in Franklin County, first burst onto the scene in 2010, when he pulled off an upset against then-state Rep. Michael Frame, D-Eureka. Curtman’s victory was often spotlighted as a sign of strength for the “Tea Party” movement in Missouri, especially since the Marine Corps veteran gained notoriety in speaking out against President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

Rams fans line up with letters made by Jill Bauer of Columbia, Ill. on Sat. Nov. 14, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The plan to build a new football stadium in St. Louis continues to bring passion to the forefront. Rams fans and St. Louis residents took turns pleading their cases to the city’s Ways and Means Committee for three hours Saturday at an outdoor venue within the footprint of the proposed stadium. The aldermanic committee is considering a bill to help fund its construction.  

Alderman Chris Carter, right, has taken a dim view of the stadium situation.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

With several big developments swirling in the background, members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen are set to examine a plan funding the city’s portion of a roughly $1 billion riverfront stadium.

jack coatar
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

This week's Politically Speaking podcast with Alderman Jack Coatar includes discussion about a new football stadium on the riverfront. He is sponsoring the bill laying out the financial plan for the proposed stadium, which Mayor Francis Slay and others hope will persuade the Rams to remain in St. Louis – or attract another NFL team.

Earlier today, 15th Ward Democrats President Richard Buthod said there’s widespread public skepticism about publicly financing stadiums. His group released results from a poll showing overwhelming opposition to city taxpayer dollars going to sporting facilities.

HOK | 360 Architecture

There are few fans in St. Louis quite like Ram Man.

Ram Man — whose real name is Karl Sides — wears a hat molded in the shape of a snarling beast with spiraling horns. His jersey is adorned with patches celebrating the St. Louis Rams' achievements. And his unique admiration was worthy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But it will take more than extraordinary fan loyalty to keep an NFL team in St. Louis.

The five GOP contenders for governor: Peter Kinder, Eric Greitens, Catherine Hanaway, Bob Dixon and John Brunner
St. Louis Public Radio file photos

It’s fair to say that Missouri state Sen. Rob Schaaf has been a thorn in Gov. Jay Nixon’s side over the proposed riverfront stadium in St. Louis.

The St. Joseph Republican was one of the first members of the legislature to raise serious alarm about Nixon issuing state bonds for the $1 billion project without a legislative or statewide vote. More than 20 senators and some key House leaders have threatened to kill any state appropriation to pay off the stadium bonds if Nixon follows through.

A member of the St. Louis stadium task force places signage in the room before the announcement that National Car Rental has agreed to pay $158 million over 20 years for naming rights for the proposed NFL stadium in St. Louis on October 7, 2015.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | October 2015

After weeks of anticipation, members of the Board of Aldermen finally have legislation spelling out how the city will pay for a proposed riverfront stadium.

Aldermen Tammika Hubbard and Jack Coatar’s legislation is a critical portion of a multi-part financing plan for a stadium aimed at keeping the NFL in St. Louis. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is planning to build a new stadium in Inglewood, Calif., which has prompted rampant speculation that the team’s days in St. Louis are numbered.

A Rams fan speaks to NFL executives during a public meeting on Tuesday at the Peabody Oprea House.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

If the passion inside the Peabody Opera House could determine the future of the St. Louis Rams, then the team would probably stay in the Gateway City for eternity.

Of course, it’s not that simple.

A rendering of National Car Rental Field, the name new for the proposed football stadium on St. Louis' riverfront.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the eve of a public hearing about the St. Louis Rams’ future in the Gateway City, members of the Board of Aldermen are mulling over whether they’ll pick up part of the tab for the cost of a new stadium. The NFL is hosting a meeting Tuesday night at the Peabody Opera House for the public to sound off on the Rams’ potential relocation to the Los Angeles area.

Rep. Eric Burlison
Scott Harvey I KSMU

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Eric Burlison to the show (with some generous assistance from our friends at KSMU).

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Steven Conway, D-8th Ward, expects a number of hearings on a stadium funding bill. Conway is a CPA and plans to analyze the financial costs of the legislation.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s fair to say last week produced plenty of copy about St. Louis’ proposed riverfront football stadium.

These renderings show what it would look like in National Car Rental Field. The car rental company forged a $158 million deal to name an in-flux riverfront stadium.
Courtesy of HOK

So now we know that our new football stadium would be called National Car Rental Field. That rolls off the tongue with an odd ring of impermanence – a reminder that stadiums and teams, like rental cars, come and go.

These renderings show what it would look like in National Car Rental Field. The car rental company forged a $158 million deal to name an in-flux riverfront stadium.
Courtesy of HOK

Dave Peacock concedes that he undersold a bit to Enterprise Holdings when he talked with some of their top brass about sponsoring a roughly $1 billion stadium.

The co-chairman of a task force angling to keep professional football in St. Louis said on Wednesday he went in with a “lower sponsorship level” to Enterprise, a St. Louis-based corporation that owns a number of car rental companies. What Peacock got in return was a 20-year, $158 million offer to name the stadium “National Car Rental Field.”

Alderman Lyda Krewson
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann welcome St. Louis Alderman Lyda Krewson to the show.

The Moberly native has represented the city’s 28th Ward since 1997. Her ward includes some of the city’s most popular attractions, such as Forest Park, the St. Louis Zoo, part of ‘The Loop’ and the Central West End business districts.

A rendering of the proposed riverfront stadium
Courtesy of HOK

Members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen may soon get a chance to do something that’s eluded lawmakers in Jefferson City: Vote on funding a proposed football stadium on the city’s riverfront.

While Gov. Jay Nixon's administration may very well issue state bonds for the project without legislative or statewide approval, city aldermen are expected to take up legislation soon that would authorize the city’s funding share of the roughly $1 billion project.

Gov. Jay Nixon says legislators blew their chance to have a say on bonding for a stadium in St. Louis.
File photo by Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon is facing explicit warnings from key legislators that they won’t approve payments on bonds for a new football stadium on St. Louis’ riverfront if they aren’t first approved by a legislative or public vote.

But the Democratic governor is dismissing the threats as too little, too late – pointing to inaction during the past legislative session.

HOK|360 ARCHITECTURE

One of the Missouri House's budget writers is warning Gov. Jay Nixon to change his stance on pursuing funding for a new NFL stadium without a vote of the people.

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, is vice chair of the House select committee on the state budget. In a letter to Nixon, a Democrat, he said he won't support any budget bill next year that includes funding for debt service on bonds issued for a new NFL stadium in St. Louis.

Steve Stenger
File photo by Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

It has been six months since St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger took office after winning a close race against Rick Stream.

Architectural historian Lynn Josse tells a tour group about the history of the Laclede Power Plant built in 1901 on Saturday, June 6, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The National Register of Historic Places has four listings within the footprint of the proposed riverfront football stadium in St. Louis. A group of preservationists wants the NFL Stadium Task Force to take a second look at their plan to demolish the historic buildings that date back as far as the 1870s.

A rendering of the proposed riverfront stadium
Courtesy of HOK

After being stuffed in the General Assembly, skeptics of a proposed riverfront stadium in St. Louis are taking their fight to court.

Six lawmakers filed a suit Wednesday in Cole County Circuit Court to, among other things, prevent Gov. Jay Nixon from “extending” state bonds paying off the Edward Jones Dome to fund the new stadium. Office of Administration Director Doug Nelson contended earlier this year that Nixon had such authority, which spurred unsuccessful bills to force either a legislative or statewide vote on the matter.

Proposed Carson, California stadium
L.A. Times| Manica Architecture

The Rams' future in St. Louis continues to be uncertain.

National Football League owners are meeting this week in San Francisco and are expected to receive updates on stadium plans in St. Louis and two Los Angeles suburbs: Carson and Inglewood.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber meets with reporters in St. Louis. Garber toured a potential stadium site near the city's north riverfront.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The commissioner of Major League Soccer was in St. Louis on Tuesday to visit the site of a potential stadium on the city’s riverfront.

But while expressing optimism that St. Louis could support a professional soccer team, the chief of the country’s most popular league emphasized it’s way too early to talk about when an expansion would happen.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay talked of 24-hour shifts to build a riverfront stadium at a conference last year.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

You don’t have to try that hard to get St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay to express effusive support for a new football stadium on his city’s riverfront.

With the St. Louis Rams potentially bolting to the Los Angeles area, Slay joined with Gov. Jay Nixon and numerous labor unions in backing the roughly $1 billion stadium. For the Democratic mayor, the project would not only provide steady work for thousands of people – it would revitalize a rather drab part of St. Louis’ riverfront.

Stadium Approach from the Southeast
HOK | 360 Architecture

The supervisor of St. Louis University's civil litigation clinic is threatening legal action to force a public vote in St. Louis over a proposed nearly $1 billion riverfront football stadium.

It’s a move that reflects the growing demand for some sort of vote to approve the proposed stadium’s public financing.

HOK/360 Architecture

An effort to build a new stadium for the St. Louis Rams could hit a snag if a provision in President Barack Obama’s proposed budget makes it into law. Under the president’s budget plan, states and cities would no longer be able to use tax-exempt bonds to help pay for professional sports venues.

The St. Louis Stamping Co. sits in the shadow of the proposed NFL stadium in St. Louis. The six-building complex, at Cass Avenue and First Street, Florida and Collins streets, was built in 1871 and 1913.
Google Streetview

Much has been made of what St. Louis could gain with a new NFL stadium, but what about the things it could lose?

The proposed plans for the stadium include demolishing two dozen buildings, including the St. Louis Stamping Co. buildings and the Cotton Belt Freight Depot. Both are part of the National Register of Historic Places, but that doesn’t provide protection — it denotes the building has historic significance.

HOK/360 Architecture

State officials are claiming that building a new NFL-caliber stadium in St. Louis would provide a huge financial benefit to Missouri.

The proposed new riverfront stadium, which would seat around 64,000 people, has an estimated price tag of $860 million to $985 million.

Traci Blackmon
stlpositivechange.org

Like flares on a highway, some of the headlines that flashed by in recent days signal danger.

First came good news from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. St. Louis labor unions have agreed to work 24-hours a day with no overtime to quickly build a football stadium. That's proof that St. Louisans can rise to the occasion – in this case, the perceived crisis of losing an NFL team – when we see that the region’s reputation and future are at stake.

new stadium, St. Louis Rams
Courtesy HOK | 360 Architecture

Nothing ventured ... a lot to lose.

That was the message from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon Tuesday morning, as he touted efforts to build a new football stadium in St. Louis.

"If we do nothing, then we’re not an NFL city. If we do nothing then $10 million in taxes is gone. If we do nothing then people will stand right here 10 years from now and that will look exactly like it looks right there," Nixon said during a news conference on St. Louis’ north riverfront near the proposed stadium site.

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