It’s been interesting to watch the St Louis media folks both news and sports get into the stadium hype. We’ve heard them faithfully report every announcement from the Governor, David Peacock, the Sports Authority and janitor at the Edward Jones Dome. With the exception of one or two instances in the period since the announcement was made about the new stadium proposal the opposition to it has not been mentioned.

Click here to let the Governor and your legislators know you oppose public funding of a new stadium!

In fact, when it is mentioned it’s usually with derision. Not only do the media cheerleaders regurgitate the chamber of commerce numbers that somehow never seem to appear in the real world, they not only don’t understand the current Rams deal but they don’t appear to know what the deal Stan has made in Inglewood. All this is a dangerous combination that misleads those watching or listening to the media on the topic of the new football stadium.

They totally ignore, although they have been given the information, that the an overwhelming majority (70%) of likely voters in the St Louis region reject the deal to publicly fund the new stadium proposal. Even when a “friendly” question regarding the stadium was asked 63% of St Louisians said they were against it and 70% of the state said NO!

Click here to let the Governor and your legislators know you oppose public funding of a new stadium!

Q: There has been discussion of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams relocating to Los Angeles. In order to keep the team in St. Louis, a plan has been proposed to build a new stadium using approximately $500 million in taxpayer funds. Do you support or oppose a plan using $500 million in taxpayer funds to build a new stadium for the St. Louis Rams in order to keep them in St. Louis?

Support…………19%

Oppose………….70%

Don’t Know……12%

Let’s take a look at the crux of the deal Stan is giving Inglewood:

1. No upfront money from government. Inglewood isn’t putting a dime into the stadium to be built

2. Stan is going to pay for sidewalks and road work, landscaping, water mains and utility lines. Inglewood will reimburse Stan for these public improvements but ONLY after the stadium has generated $25m/yr. If the stadium only generates Inglewood $24,999,999 there will be no reimbursement that year to Stan.

3. Inglewood is anticipated to receive $50-60 million of infrastructure improvements that they will not have to pay for until #2 happens.

4. Once #2 happens, the $25m/yr, Inglewood will reimburse Stan up to $8 million a year for costs on event days for police, emergency medical crews and shuttle bus services from off-site parking. They estimate that could tally $8 million annually, or $40 million for a five-year period.

So to recap the deal — Stan pays for everything upfront, Inglewood reimburses Stan for the public improvements he has made and for the city services he provides on game day.

Now let’s look at the St Louis $985 million deal. Keep in mind Stan has not asked for anything — at least that’s the media’s claim.

1. Governor Nixon is willing to pony up $450-535 million in public “sources”.  Projections are that $300-$350 million will be bonded and will be added debt to the existing debt on the Edward Jones Dome.

2. Governor Nixon is willing to use tax credits to “clean up” the area around the new stadium. Problem is, he is willing to tear down buildings that already have had tax credits spent on them to renovate them.  One example is the Stamping Lofts which was renovated turning it into 56 studio apartments less than two years ago! It was supposed to be a place for low-income, ex offenders to live. They got somewhere in the neighborhood of $10m in low-income housing tax credits, federal historic preservation tax credits, federal New Markets Tax Credits and tax abatement. Now they want to tear it down. Makes perfect government sense doesn’t it!?

So to recap the deal — state taxpayers are placed on the hook once again to build a new football stadium in St Louis and will once again fail to realize a return on their investment.

The Governor has paid for a legal opinion that he says gives him the authority to “extend” the bonds on the Dome to include all the new money needed to build the new stadium. Lawyers and legislators disagree with him and asked him to see the legal opinion. He refuses to share it.

The legislature has made it clear they do not intend to make payments on any bonds the Governor may issue. Any bonding house will have trouble getting a rating on the bonds given this turmoil.

Click here to let the Governor and your legislators know you oppose public funding of a new stadium!

Bills have been sponsored to correct the Governor’s misrepresentation of the statute. One of them is by Senator Ryan Silvey from Clay County. Senator Silvey has taken heat from some of the St Louis media cheerleaders. One radio personality went as far as writing the Senator a letter  regarding the stadium. Unfortunately, the letter itself was full of inaccuracies that we will address in another posting.

Some in the media have suggested that Senator Silvey being from Kansas City is pro-KC and anti-St Louis because of his bill. The problem is that’s false. Had the media actually been objective, they would have found that Senator Silvey while in the House signed on to a letter opposing funding for the Kansas City Chief’s.

Senator Silvey’s bill only corrects the Governor’s faulty legal opinion and ensures that the legislature will have a role in any bonding considered. That’s the right thing to do. That’s the thing that should be done.

Click here to let the Governor and your legislators know you oppose public funding of a new stadium!

The media would also be objective if they reported that Arrowhead and Kaufmann stadiums in Kansas City were built by taxpayers in Jackson County voting to tax themselves to build them. No state bonding money went into those stadiums. They would also have to objectively report that Jackson County voters recently voted to tax themselves again to renovate those two stadiums.

State taxpayers have no bonded indebtedness to those stadiums. State taxpayers do provide $3m/year to the Jackson County Sports Authority to “offset” the $12m/yr it pays on the Jones Dome bonds.

Bottom line is that Stan has the ability to build a new stadium in St Louis if he chooses WITHOUT state taxpayers providing any bond funds. From all appearances Stan doesn’t want to do that.

The St Louis media cheerleaders should start reporting facts and not what they wish would happen.

Click here to let the Governor and your legislators know you oppose public funding of a new stadium!

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