(AP) – St. Louis upped its bid Friday to either keep the Rams or lure a new NFL team, unveiling plans Friday for a new open-air football stadium on the banks of the Mississippi River, not far from the Gateway Arch.
The 64,000-seat stadium would cost $860 million to $985 million, with construction beginning in 2016 and completed by 2020.
The proposal was announced by attorney Robert Blitz and former Anheuser-Busch president David Peacock, the two-man team appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in November to develop the plan.
Peacock said some funding would come from tax credits and other public financing, including extending current bonds used to pay off the Edward Jones Dome, the Rams’ current home. But, there would be no new tax burden. Up to about half the money would come from the NFL and the team, the proposal states. Seat licensing fees would also help pay for the project.
“It’s more than just a football stadium,” Peacock said. “We’re talking about a continuation of the revitalization of our downtown.”
The Edward Jones Dome is outdated by NFL standards despite being just 20 years old. Negotiations over improvements to the dome – which was built with taxpayer money – went nowhere in recent years. The Rams’ 30-year lease will be on a year-to-year basis starting next season because of a clause that the stadium be among the top quarter of NFL venues.
Speculation is rampant in St. Louis that Rams owner Stan Kroenke will move the team to Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest market, in 2016. The league has said no team movement will be allowed this year. Sent from my iPhone