FOX 2 looks at final Riverfront Stadium deal

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – FOX 2 obtained the final, revised, plan for a proposed riverfront football stadium to keep the Rams in St. Louis.  The plan is now in the hands of members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen’s Ways and Means Committee.

If the committee approves, the measure would still need full board approval in a final vote during a special session before the NFL’s December 30th deadline for proposals from St. Louis, San Diego, and Oakland:  the three markets whose owners are considering moving their teams to Los Angeles.

San Diego and Oakland plan to share a new stadium in the L-A suburb of Carson.

Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, plans to build a stadium in the L-A suburb of Inglewood.

The St. Louis stadium price tag has gone up.  The formula for paying the bill has changed, too.

It’s a 60 page agreement, including supporting documents.

The plan would transform what is mostly wasteland along the North Riverfront bordered by Carr & Mullanphy Streets, Broadway and the Mississippi River, into a sparkling new home for the Rams.

The total cost of the plan is now up to $1.01 billion. 

  • About $151 million would come from bonds paid off by the State of Missouri
  • About $70 million from bonds to be paid by the City of St. Louis
  • $80 million more in bonds would be paid with tax revenues generated at the stadium on days of events (100% of the proceeds from parking and ticket taxes would go toward bond payments, along with 50% of game day sales tax revenues on things like food, drinks, and souvenirs during years 1-10, 25% years 11-20, with the City of St. Louis keeping getting all game day sales revenues thereafter)
  • Almost $99 million would from state tax credits and Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority dollars
  • $250 million would come from the NFL owner
  • $200 million from the NFL G4 stadium loan program
  • About $160 million from seat licenses fans would have to buy
  • $158 million from a naming rights deal would go to the NFL owner, offsetting his cost

The stadium will ONLY be built if the owner signs a lease equal to the length of the bond payments, which could stretch to the year 2051.

The City of St. Louis would not be on the hook for any cost overruns.

If game day tax revenues exceed debt payments, the extra money would go into a fund to cover future payments and/or the state’s debt.  In turn, the state would cover any shortfall in City game day tax revenues.

The NFL doesn’t consider “event day” revenues public.  Concerns have been voiced about the City of St. Louis collecting taxes on Rams tickets when it doesn’t collect them on St. Louis’s other professional teams.  Supporters of the St. Louis deal point out the Rams will receive far and away more public funding for their new stadium than the Cardinals and Blues and that the Rams current stadium is publicly funded.

If aldermen approve, it’ll be up to NFL owners to decide whether it’s enough to prevent a Rams move to Los Angeles.  Owners familiar with the basic outline gave a few hints at their meeting last week.

“You still wouldn’t call St. Louis viable at this point?” New York Giants Co-owner, John Mara, was asked.

“I’m not saying that.  I’m not saying that.  I think they’re making a really good effort.  Whether they can bring it across the finish line remains to be seen,” he said.

“I think the NFL looks at the disruption to any home city that could potentially lose their team to another city,” said Giants Co-owner, Steve Tisch.  “They look at it very seriously.  No one is doing this to encourage a club moving from Oakland, San Diego, St. Louis to Los Angeles.

Owners and NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, agreed the St. Louis plan was far ahead of Oakland and San Diego.  All conceded those two markets were very unlikely to submit a plan by the deadline, at all.

The St. Louis Stadium task force will not specifically state they consider the plan to meet the NFL’s subjective “viability” standard.  Still, the Task Force continues to say they are confident the Rams will remain in St. Louis.

“There’s been lawsuits.  There have been hearings,” Task Force Co-Chair, Dave Peacock said Friday.  “There have been train tracks and electric lines to move; questions about market viability, then we get a great naming rights deal.  There’s been a ton of work.  We’re very close.  We’re at the two yard line, now we just need to punch it over.”

Sources tell FOX 2 the Ways and Means Committee will likely approve the deal Thursday, setting up a possible final vote by the full board during a special session.

NFL owners hope to vote on relocation at their meetings January 12th-13th in Houston.