Think No Rams = No Stadium Funding? Think Again…
While the Rams are likely still unpacking in LA, the question of stadium funding by the public remains in the spotlight in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Blues have met with both St. Louis City and St. Louis County leaders to discuss a $100 million renovation of the 21 year old city-owned Scottrade Center. The project would be done in conjunction with renovations to the America’s Center and Edward Jones Dome to bolster St. Louis’ appeal for conventions. Improving the Scottrade Center should also help attract other events, such as concerts and NCAA events.
The economic impact of the possible increased events at all 3 venues isn’t known, but the quantity of events available now that the Rams aren’t reserving the Dome for 5 months a year should bolster the argument that the renovations may pay for themselves.
At the same time, local lawmakers are introducing a bill that would impose a relatively minor sales tax to help fund a soccer stadium to attract a Major League Soccer team to St. Louis. The tax would only go into effect if the MLS awarded St. Louis an expansion team in the next 5 years and be sunset in the year the taxes raised reached $100 million.
While everyone may not agree on how projects like this should be funded, at least these 2 projects seem to have more transparency and willing participants on both sides of the discussion to get to the right answer for St. Louis.