ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - There’s a new message from St. Louis to the NFL: "pay up".
St. Louis Board of Aldermen President, Lewis Reed, sent a letter NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Friday. Reed called on the league to pay the city's remaining debt on the Edward Jones Dome.
Reed says the league walked out on St. Louis even though St. Louis essentially lived up to its end of the bargain.
“We have a very loyal fan base, not just in St. Louis but across this whole region. They show up time and time again the Cardinals games, the Blues games, even at the Rams games, right?” Reed told Fox 2. “The NFL really should think twice before alienating that large of a fan base. I think they can make good by helping by filling the gap that will be left.”
Reed’s letter points out the 100% taxpayer built Dome was meant to host the NFL for 30 years. But the Rams’ lease required the dome to remain in the top 25% tier of NFL stadiums. The Rams won an arbitration ruling saying the Convention and Visitor’s Commission in St. Louis failed to keep the Dome up to that standard, allowing rams owner Stan Kroenke to move the team back to Los Angeles.
Reed contends St. Louis met its obligation with a proposed “top-tier”, billion dollar riverfront stadium for the Rams.
Since there will be no more NFL football games to help pay the city’s remaining $36 million debt on the dome over the next 6 years, Reed says the NLF should pick up the tab.
“They exploited the one clause in the lease,” Reed says. “One of the things we did do was, we put forth a top tier stadium. The rams could have been perfectly happy there. It’s the owner’s choice whether he wants to move or not. The other NFL owners voted with him. The taxpayers should not be left holding the bag on the rest of this thing.”
The letter was not a threat to sue, Reed said. He also said the NFL would be wise to help St. Louis when it's paying hundreds of millions of dollars to help other teams build new stadiums. St. Louis County and the State of Missouri also still owe more than a hundred million dollars on the dome, combined.
The full letter is posted here: