ST. LOUIS – There’s big news about when St. Louis will host its first game in the revamped XFL, along with keeping the “Battlehawks” team name.
There were unexpected developments at Wednesday’s meeting of the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority (RSA) board, which oversees the Dome at America’s Center where the St. Louis Rams used to play and the XFL team will play in 2023.
Rev. Earl Nance Jr., chairman of RSA board said he want the St. Louis XFL team to keep their name.
“It’s common sense. That was an exciting name, the Battlehawks,” Nance said. “They even had their own ‘sound: ka-kaw, ka-kaw.’”
St. Louis officials said they expect the name Battlehawks to remain but they have not received confirmation from the XFL.
The XFL new season begins in February 2023. It is expected for the St. Louis team to have its first home game in March at the dome.
The effort is underway to hire 200-300 game day staff and to prepare the turf which has been in storage below the dome floor since the final Battlehawks last game in 2020 just before COVID-19 shut down the league.
“It’s just kind of really the hydraulics, bringing the (turf) field in and out,” said Matthew Dewey, senior vice president and general manager at America’s Center. “Just giving it a once comb over and just make sure it’s more aesthetically appropriate for the team: repainting, removing paint, more of the aesthetics of things.”
The RSA board also voted to look into investing the $514.1 million from the NFL/Stan Kroenke settlement into a higher interest fund that could earn an estimated $28,000 per day. As the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County,and the RSA continue secret negotiations to split the money.
The money is currently in a low yield account which has earned a modest $1.5 million in interest since April, boosting the total amount from $513.6 million. Reinvesting the money would bring more than $10 million in interest per year.
The board also voted to meet monthly, instead of quarterly, for the next six months to deal with settlement issues.
“It’s all about getting a settlement. It’s all about pushing our way to a settlement right now,” Nance said. “If the next six months or less, hopefully less, can bring us to that, then all the better.”
“We just don’t want (the settlement money) to be wasted,” said Dave Spence, RSA Board vice-chairman. “Hopefully, everybody’s thinking that same way. Once it’s gone it’s gone. This is a once in a generation fund that we can hopefully use to be a catalyst for our community… projects that would be meaningful, that you’d look back 10 years from now and say, ‘Wow, that was a great project. That really moved the needle,’ or it could be seed money for things that need a little push over the goal-line.”
The board members expect the RSA to get less than a “one-third” share of the money. They are calling for cooperation among all parties.