St. Louis may build new football stadium with taxpayer dollars without taxpayer approval

posted at 3:31 pm on August 9, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

We’ve had a few discussions here in the past about sports franchise stadiums and the relative wisdom (or lack thereof) of taxpayers footing the bill for these billion dollar ventures to “relieve the burden” on the billionaire owners and millionaire players they hope to attract to their city. It tends to wind up being a losing proposition for most of them, but in the end it’s a decision that the voters will have to live with. Unless, of course, you live in or around St. Louis, in which case a judge has conveniently removed the decision from their hands. (St. Louis Today)

The construction of a riverfront football stadium does not need voter approval in the city before using city tax dollars, a judge ruled on Monday.

St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Thomas Frawley declared invalid the city ordinance requiring a public vote. Moreover, Frawley ruled, the placement of the new stadium, along the riverfront just north of downtown, does not break a state law requiring the building to be “adjacent” to the convention center — it is close enough, he wrote.

“‘Adjacent’ has commonly been interpreted by Missouri courts to mean ‘near or close at hand and as ‘not necessarily meaning contiguous,’” Frawley wrote in his ruling, “i.e. not necessarily meaning touching each other or immediately next to each other.”

There’s a lot to unpack in a short space there. The Rams need a new stadium and are currently being wooed to go back to California, so there’s a bit of a bidding war going on. It’s going to take a load of cash to put up the new facility and, as usual, the taxpayers are being asked to foot part of the bill. The first glaring alarm in this story is that the city actually had an ordinance on the books which was supposed to make sure that the voters would have a chance to decide for themselves. The judge has simply set it aside.

Even more strange is that there are other rules on the books which would specifically regulate such a project. Their state law which states that a stadium must be “adjacent to the convention center” is rather odd sounding, but apparently they want to channel all the tourism and traffic into a more easily manageable area. But whether you agree with the original rationale or not, the law is the law. And now this same judge has determined that the word “adjacent” is rather ambiguous and the designated location is… close enough to adjacent.

Hmmm… okay then.

The Show-Me State called on an expert from the Show-Me Institute, Joe Miller, to comment on how great of a deal this would be for the locals. (Inside St. Louis)

“Football stadium…the public shouldn’t be funding it. If the NFL wants to pay for a new stadium…If the Rams ownership wants to stay in St. Louis, they should pay for it themselves. There’s plenty of economic evidence out there that shows stadiums really don’t create any tangible economic benefit. They don’t increase tax revenue, they don’t create economic growth and they don’t create urban revitalization. There might be civic pride arguments…but we think definitely people should get a vote on it.”

“I don’t think it’s better for St. Louis not to have the Rams. I’m trying to say that when the public spends hundreds of millions of dollars for a sports stadium in hopes it’s going to boost economic growth, I think they’re being sold a bad bill of goods. It’s a low probability.”

I’m not sure if any NFL teams have stadiums which have turned out to be a great deal for the taxpayers aside from the Green Bay Packers. The Buffalo Bills have been going through several iterations of the same questions and it’s a rather fierce debate. Plenty of locals are of a mind that losing the team would be a huge blow to the city economy, but that’s pretty hard to quantify. I do agree that it would be a big loss to city morale and the general mood of the fans. The same can be said for most other towns with a long standing franchise.

Perhaps that’s enough to justify the cost even if it’s a net loss financially. There’s something to be said for hometown spirit. But be that as it may, the citizens should have the right to make that call and then sink or swim with the resulting fallout. Having a judge remove the choice seems beyond the pale, and I hope St. Louis can figure out a way to reverse that decision.


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Comments

Pfffft!

Laws… as if that mattered. Judges are what matters.

Dolce Far Niente on August 9, 2015 at 3:35 PM

Who needs taxpayer approval — let alone laws — in the age of Pen & Phone, open borders, and the Benedict twins Roberts and Kennedy?

ShainS on August 9, 2015 at 3:36 PM

“‘Adjacent’ has commonly been interpreted by Missouri courts to mean ‘near or close at hand and as ‘not necessarily meaning contiguous,’” Frawley wrote in his ruling, “i.e. not necessarily meaning touching each other or immediately next to each other.

Adjacent certainly does mean “bordering each other” or “immediately next to”.

But … the courts have progressed well beyond the constricting and suffocating limits of the meanings of words. It’s so much easier to rule when language is really nothing but a number of meaningless grunts or scribbles on a page that can mean whatever one wants at any given time. I believe Lewis Carrol covered this …

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 9, 2015 at 3:40 PM

Welcome to the Club.

TheMadHessian on August 9, 2015 at 3:41 PM

they don’t create economic growth

See, for example, Detroit. New baseball and football stadia right next to each other. Some restaurants in the surrounding block. Go one more block over and it’s Berlin circa 1946.

rbj on August 9, 2015 at 3:41 PM

So much of what is fundamentally wrong with where this country is going is demonstrated here- and it has nothing to do with building sports stadiums.

First there’s the contempt government shows the taxpayer regarding the use of taxpayer’s funds. Today, government considers it THEIR money – not the money of the taxpayer that the government confiscates and uses to feed it’s interests. They spend irresponsibly – and have little hesitation to just demand more from the people as opposed to embracing some fiscal sanity. The same fiscal sanity that virtually all of those taxpayers have to practice if they spend too much or have a drop in revenues.

Second is the action of a black robed judge to rubber stamp the actions of the state – not only regardless of the wishes of the voter / taxpayer – but in complete contempt to the thought that the voter / taxpayer should even have a voice in the matter. An unaccountable judge has place himself above the people yet again – and ignores or invalidates other laws that are inconvenient. The concept of a person of the law – selectively enforcing the law is the measure of a state with an equal contempt towards the rule of law and the rights of the people.

Athos on August 9, 2015 at 3:43 PM

That old thing about us being a land of laws, not men? Oh, that no longer exists.

butch on August 9, 2015 at 3:44 PM

I’m happy that Jazz picked this up. Not only am I from Saint Louis, I’m Joe’s colleague at the Show-Me Institute and we have written a ton on this. There is no economic justification for public financing of sports stadiums. None whatsoever.

Btw: Hot Air poster Patrick Ishmael also works at SMI. Sing along with me now, “It’s a small world after all.”

Mike Rathbone on August 9, 2015 at 3:49 PM

Heh heh heh… come on Jazz… touch the third rail… you know you want to… Give us a post on Erick the Yellow runnign away and Megyan Crowley’s ambush of Donald Trump…

Even “Day by Day” has eviscerated Erick the Yellow…

oscarwilde on August 9, 2015 at 3:52 PM

crony capitalism. This is where the democrats and the republicans join forces to screw the productive class.

HugoDrax on August 9, 2015 at 3:55 PM

“Bread and Circuses” only works for so long.

LegendHasIt on August 9, 2015 at 3:56 PM

Not a Cardinals fan but as long as St. Louis has the Cardinals why should they give a crap about the Rams? Let the Rams do their hands up don’t shoot shtick in CA.

bbinfl on August 9, 2015 at 4:05 PM

See, for example, Detroit. New baseball and football stadia right next to each other. Some restaurants in the surrounding block. Go one more block over and it’s Berlin circa 1946.

rbj on August 9, 2015 at 3:41 PM

Have to disagree. There was more hope & self starters in Berlin by 1946.

St Louis circa 2015? Not so much.

BlaxPac on August 9, 2015 at 4:05 PM

Besides if they want to learn from professionals on how to steal from taxpayers they should talk to the Miami-Dade commissioners about the theft they perpetrated on their voters for the Marlins, mostly empty every game stadium.

bbinfl on August 9, 2015 at 4:07 PM

Heh heh heh… come on Jazz… touch the third rail… you know you want to… Give us a post on Erick the Yellow runnign away and Megyan Crowley’s ambush of Donald Trump…

Even “Day by Day” has eviscerated Erick the Yellow…

oscarwilde on August 9, 2015 at 3:52 PM

Gads, you ARE a masochist, aren’t ya? :o)

Trump isn’t a third rail so much as the squeaky wheel…and that wheel has been well greased in one fashion or another so far.

I mean, its not like we havent heard the guys name this week last week today five minutes ago?

BlaxPac on August 9, 2015 at 4:12 PM

Some grandstanding Senators need to push a law putting an end to this ongoing charade.

The federal government can’t tell states and locals what to do, but the Commerce Clause (the real one even, not just the omnipotent one we’ve had since Roosevelt) would support a ban on institutions that organize athletic competitions across state lines from soliciting funding from local governments for venues.

Repeal the Hollywood Tax Cuts too, while you’re at it.

TimesUp on August 9, 2015 at 4:13 PM

Frank Gifford dies at 84

BallisticBob on August 9, 2015 at 3:39 PM

No. It was Kathie Gifford’s husband, Frank: https://twitter.com/brianstelter/status/630449911037882369

#WarOnMen

davidk on August 9, 2015 at 4:13 PM

Not a Cardinals fan but as long as St. Louis has the Cardinals why should they give a crap about the Rams? Let the Rams do their hands up don’t shoot shtick in CA.

bbinfl on August 9, 2015 at 4:05 PM

My favorite teams are the St. Louis Cardinals

davidk on August 9, 2015 at 4:17 PM

My favorite two teams

davidk on August 9, 2015 at 4:17 PM

Out of all of the states I have traveled to, Wa State actually has the most fair laws with regards to state gun reciprocity. But fair is fair….Initiate a $100 voter tax law to cover costs associated with voting and see how well that goes over. Even more, check out the arguments ‘against’ and apply

Saints on August 9, 2015 at 4:19 PM

Sorry, stupid login brought me back to the wrong article.

Saints on August 9, 2015 at 4:20 PM

King County voted against a tax increase to pay for a new baseball stadium in 1995. The state legislature voted for new taxes to fund the stadium anyway.

Democracy.

kcewa on August 9, 2015 at 4:24 PM

come to maine, buld one in jackman.
see how the -30 deg F and colder nights work.

dmacleo on August 9, 2015 at 4:27 PM

That judge is trying to demonstrate that he is SCOTUS material.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 9, 2015 at 4:28 PM

My favorite teams are the St. Louis Cardinals

davidk on August 9, 2015 at 4:17 PM

I lived in Springfield for a few years and I got the impression in MO that more people were Chiefs fans and more or less could have cared less about the Rams. If that still holds true then I don’t know why they would fight to keep them anyway.

bbinfl on August 9, 2015 at 4:30 PM

Building Team Stadiums is nothing new for cities…they claim there’s always money in it, but its seems only the construction unions are the big winners.

And with all the SJW vultures circling St Louis proper for their share of ill gotten gains, why shouldn’t we assume that if the stadium isn’t built, they won’t get a fat slice of that pie anyway?

Ya know, for “fairness”?

BlaxPac on August 9, 2015 at 4:33 PM

“More government!” scream the lefties. Well then sister, you got yourselves more government so no effing whining.

But do keep this in mind: If they can spend without your consent they can do all sorts of things without your consent. All sorts of things.

Bishop on August 9, 2015 at 4:35 PM

“St. Louis may build new football stadium with taxpayer dollars without taxpayer approval”

–A wild guess: St. Louis is run by d-cRAT socialist extremists – with union bo$$e$ and crony capitalist pals foaming at the mouth for construction contracts.

MicahStone on August 9, 2015 at 4:37 PM

Not a Cardinals fan but as long as St. Louis has the Cardinals why should they give a crap about the Rams? Let the Rams do their hands up don’t shoot shtick in CA.

bbinfl on August 9, 2015 at 4:05 PM

The Cardinals are one of thew few teams that MIGHT make an argument for economic gain – and they ended up paying for Busch almost entirely through private financing.

The Rams? No chance.

But there sure are people who think St. Louis will be lesser town if it loses its football team.

The_Jacobite on August 9, 2015 at 4:39 PM

But you should all see the new Vikings stadium going up as we speak, it’s pretty epic, giant revolving glass doors and everything.

Yessir, a franchise that couldn’t win a Super Bowl if they were the only team on the field got itself brand spanking new digs, and it’s only cost a billion or so.

Bishop on August 9, 2015 at 4:39 PM

It’s not just Football Stadiums – we’ve had many items put on bond referendums where I live that the taxpayers flatly refused.

Our leaders and the COC simply found new ways to make the deals happen, including our city selling prime land worth millions to the special interest group for $1. It really doesn’t mean much as a citizen when your vote is cast aside like that – where I live (the most liberal city in NC) the powers do as they see fit and the regular citizens be damned.

celt on August 9, 2015 at 4:41 PM

Well here’s another question…If they go through with this boondoggle and either halfway through the building of the stadium, or after the bonds been issued initially…can they (Rams) pull out of the deal if another state makes a better counteroffer?

I would *assume* if so, they’d be tied up in litigation until the Moon is rectangular shaped, but you know about assumptions…

It just sounds like a stinker of a deal…a lot of money thrown down the rabbit hole for nominal gains…and I’m being generous saying “nominal”.

BlaxPac on August 9, 2015 at 4:46 PM

the St Louis Rams were originally the Cleveland Rams, then became the LA Rams, then the St louis Rams.

see the pattern here?

the Baltimore Colts moved in the dead of night to indianapolis to avoid the fans ire.

the Chicago Cardinals moved to St Louis, then to Arizona

the Oakland Raiders moved to LA, then back to oakland,

teams play in suburbs to get a new stadium, and continue to use the name of the big city that could not or would not afford to build them a new stadium, i.e. the SF 49ers in Santa Clara, NY Giants in east rutherford NJ, Dallas Cowboys in Irving TX etc etc etc

the globalist owners will threaten to move if you don’t give them their new shiny ballpark. and now the lawyers in black robes are joining in on the gravy train, just shunting the voters aside, but grabbing their wallets as they push them away.

Senator Philip Bluster on August 9, 2015 at 4:46 PM

“St. Louis may build new football stadium with taxpayer dollars without taxpayer approval”

–A wild guess: St. Louis is run by d-cRAT socialist extremists – with union bo$$e$ and crony capitalist pals foaming at the mouth for construction contracts.

MicahStone on August 9, 2015 at 4:37 PM

Don’t forget the most important driver…Jay Nixon.

Another D looking for a legacy. The mayor has a;ready
said, per STLtoday, that it’s not about the money. They want
a FUN big city.

like Keynes said, in the long run we’re dead…so let’s
eat desert first!

idiots

(no, he didn’t say the desert part)

r keller on August 9, 2015 at 4:49 PM

Still, I’m enjoying the various extra taxes being leveled against the fine SJW folks whose county and city got the new Vikes stadium, brings joy to my heart every single day knowing they’re paying more for EVERYTHING.

Bishop on August 9, 2015 at 4:50 PM

The best part about this is that the Rams are gone, regardless of this deal. So, you can take all the money from the taxpayers, build your stadium, then figure out what events you’re going to have there.

The Irsays got a mind-boggling deal for the new stadium and convention center here in Indy.

They had a 30 year lease on the former RCA dome, which they were allowed to break early for no penalty. The new lease for Lucas Oil allows them to play there essentially free. They get ticket revenue from any non-NFL events held at the stadium AND the next door convention center. This revenue far exceeds their pittance of rent on an annual basis.

So, essentially, they forced the city to build a new stadium and to pay the Colts for it.

Chris of Rights on August 9, 2015 at 4:51 PM

and, btw, on the rendering of the stadium, did you notice the
blue river running by. That ain’t the Mississippi river…all
a fantasy.

r keller on August 9, 2015 at 4:53 PM

But you should all see the new Vikings stadium going up as we speak, it’s pretty epic, giant revolving glass doors and everything.

Yessir, a franchise that couldn’t win a Super Bowl if they were the only team on the field got itself brand spanking new digs, and it’s only cost a billion or so.

Bishop on August 9, 2015 at 4:39 PM

The new Vikes stadium actually cost more (30% more) than the New Horizons probe to Pluto.

And at the rate the stadium racket is going, New Horizons will be the only one of the two still doing useful stuff twenty years from now.

The_Jacobite on August 9, 2015 at 4:55 PM

My favorite teams are the St. Louis Cardinals

davidk on August 9, 2015 at 4:17 PM

I lived in Springfield for a few years and I got the impression in MO that more people were Chiefs fans and more or less could have cared less about the Rams. If that still holds true then I don’t know why they would fight to keep them anyway.

bbinfl on August 9, 2015 at 4:30 PM

They aren’t funny if you don’t tell them right–and if you have to explain them.

I was referring to the Baseball cards and whoever plays the Cubs.

I grew up in southern Illinois and was a football Cards and baseball Cards fan. I moved to the KC area and lived there about 25 years.

The football Cards became dead to many fans when they took off to Arizona. I was one.

There are a lot of baseball Cardinal fans in southwest MO where I figured to be Royals fans. I became a Royals fan and went to a lot of games in the 80s but got my heart broke when the Royals spanked the Cards in the world Series.

My brother lives across the river and is a season ticket holder for the Rams (and the Cards). But he and a lot of others are turning against the Rams over their threat of leaving unless St. Louis builds them a new stadium.

davidk on August 9, 2015 at 4:56 PM

and do you know what the biggest reason for new stadiums, and arenas, is?

more LUXURY BOXES !!

and of course those are for the bigshots, the rich, the politicians, and the well connected.

iow, the middle class taxpayers foot the bill to make it possible for the fatcats to sit in luxury at the games

Senator Philip Bluster on August 9, 2015 at 4:57 PM

Rams to LA in ’16! Go Rams!

truecon on August 9, 2015 at 4:57 PM

and, btw, on the rendering of the stadium, did you notice the
blue river running by. That ain’t the Mississippi river…all
a fantasy.

r keller on August 9, 2015 at 4:53 PM

Yeah. It ain’t the big muddy. If they build it down by the river they could use the Arch as goalposts.

davidk on August 9, 2015 at 4:58 PM

You may remember near the end of ‘1984’ where O’Brien, during his torture of Winston, described the perfect society as a boot permanently stomping on the face of an unruly subject. Anything done without taxpayer approval is a metaphorical stomping boot. The socialists do this well.

Has anybody figured out how many years (if ever) before the stadium building cost is amortized? Unless the stadium is way out in the suburbs, any fan would need a SWAT team escort to get to the game.

MaiDee on August 9, 2015 at 5:04 PM

davidk on August 9, 2015 at 4:56 PM

I haven’t been there in almost 20 years so I’m not sure how it is now. I do recall that there were a lot more Cardinal fans in that part of the state back then than the Royals. Nowadays it probably doesn’t hurt that the Cards minor league, I believe AA team, is in Springfield. Which I would think would keep growing the Cardinal fan base.

bbinfl on August 9, 2015 at 5:07 PM

There’s a LOT to be said for “home town spirit.”

But not with money taken by force from people who don’t share the enthusiasm.

Green Bay may be the exception as the town is built around the Packers. But other stadium projects have cost millions for no measurable benefit. Yes, the bars, restaurants, souvenir shops, and parking garages near the stadium will lose if the team moves, but is that a reason to force bar owners, restauranteurs, shopkeepers, parking magnates from other parts of town to subsidize them?

~~

I’m so old, I remember when libertarians didn’t have to even think about such things, it was their Raison d’être.

Adjoran on August 9, 2015 at 5:09 PM

Has the judge taken in his “For Sale!” sign yet?

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2015 at 5:17 PM

I’m sure the voters in Ferguson will pass this overwhelmingly, they can just add the cost to their traffic fines.

Another Drew on August 9, 2015 at 5:18 PM

I believe Lewis Carrol covered this …

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 9, 2015 at 3:40 PM

I’d be surprised if Scalia hasn’t used it in one of his dissents.

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

agmartin on August 9, 2015 at 5:19 PM

Every year judges and courts are cecoming more democratic.

Viator on August 9, 2015 at 5:25 PM

Every year judges and courts are becoming more democratic.

Viator on August 9, 2015 at 5:25 PM

If the owners of any NFL franchise wish to build a stadium, even a multi-billion dollar stadium…fine.

Go right ahead.

Pay for it, build it, own it.

On your dime, not mine.

Adjoran on August 9, 2015 at 5:09 PM

Yep. Seems there is only ONE team in the NFL that can take a look at public funding, and that’d be Green Bay….been a non-profit, community-owned franchise since the early 1960’s.

The rest?

They have been living large off the public teat for too long, and acting like spoiled brat kids all the while. If you don’t pay for my new toys I’m going to move out and live elsewhere…like who really truly cares?

Has ANY, repeat ANY, franchise actually fully paid back to the community directly the total amount of funding forced from the taxpayers? How many have been required to account for every dime extorted

If they can afford these astronomical salaries for mostly mediocre players, while they charge a up to a hundreds of dollars for a family of four to attend a live game, they can build their own damn playground.

.

coldwarrior on August 9, 2015 at 5:26 PM

The new Vikes stadium actually cost more (30% more) than the New Horizons probe to Pluto.

The_Jacobite on August 9, 2015 at 4:55 PM

Yeah, just make sure the architect team aren’t wearing any of the sexist, misogynistic shirts that drive the feminists (further) batshyte crazy.

Although, I REALLY want one myself.

BlaxPac on August 9, 2015 at 5:27 PM

St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Thomas Frawley declared invalid the city ordinance requiring a public vote. Moreover, Frawley ruled, the placement of the new stadium, along the riverfront just north of downtown, does not break a state law requiring the building to be “adjacent” to the convention center — it is close enough, he wrote.

We live in a lawless country. POTUS is a joke. All decisions are based on politics. The voters would never approve building a new stadium at public expense. So the Rams ran the end around play and succeeded.

alanstern on August 9, 2015 at 5:36 PM

The sports stadium racket is the biggest fraud being perpetrated upon the taxpayers of the poor locales that host the pro sports teams. It’s insane to think that the people footing part of the bill won’t get a say in it, but that’s where we are when billionaire owners and a huge multi-billionaire empire like the NFL conspire to extort communities like this.

changer1701 on August 9, 2015 at 5:47 PM

You’ve missed the biggest irony — the owner of the Rams wants to pay for a stadium out of his own money, but in Los Angeles! It’s only because of NFL pressure and the desire of St. Louis officials to keep a team that he’s not already been given approval to do so.

woocane on August 9, 2015 at 5:52 PM

Adjacent certainly does mean “bordering each other” or “immediately next to”.

But … the courts have progressed well beyond the constricting and suffocating limits of the meanings of words. It’s so much easier to rule when language is really nothing but a number of meaningless grunts or scribbles on a page that can mean whatever one wants at any given time. I believe Lewis Carrol covered this …

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 9, 2015 at 3:40 PM

Indeed …. there’s glory for you.
And to quote another distinguished witness, we all know that “the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the two adjacent sides” — not the ones of the triangle on the next page.

AesopFan on August 9, 2015 at 5:53 PM


The concept of a person of the law – selectively enforcing the law is the measure of a state with an equal contempt towards the rule of law and the rights of the people.

Athos on August 9, 2015 at 3:43 PM

Well-explained, as usual.

AesopFan on August 9, 2015 at 5:54 PM

crony capitalism. This is where the democrats and the republicans join forces to screw the productive class.

HugoDrax on August 9, 2015 at 3:55 PM

To wit:

It’s not just Football Stadiums – we’ve had many items put on bond referendums where I live that the taxpayers flatly refused.

Our leaders and the COC simply found new ways to make the deals happen, including our city selling prime land worth millions to the special interest group for $1. It really doesn’t mean much as a citizen when your vote is cast aside like that – where I live (the most liberal city in NC) the powers do as they see fit and the regular citizens be damned.

celt on August 9, 2015 at 4:41 PM

That’s why the GOPe went ballistic when Trump said it out loud: businessmen buy politicians for a reason.

AesopFan on August 9, 2015 at 5:58 PM

The new Vikes stadium actually cost more (30% more) than the New Horizons probe to Pluto.

And at the rate the stadium racket is going, New Horizons will be the only one of the two still doing useful stuff twenty years from now.

The_Jacobite on August 9, 2015 at 4:55 PM

Sorry to be unAmerican, but no professional sports team does useful stuff anytime.

Still, I’m enjoying the various extra taxes being leveled against the fine SJW folks whose county and city got the new Vikes stadium, brings joy to my heart every single day knowing they’re paying more for EVERYTHING.

Bishop on August 9, 2015 at 4:50 PM

AesopFan on August 9, 2015 at 6:00 PM

You’ve missed the biggest irony — the owner of the Rams wants to pay for a stadium out of his own money, but in Los Angeles! It’s only because of NFL pressure and the desire of St. Louis officials to keep a team that he’s not already been given approval to do so.

woocane on August 9, 2015 at 5:52 PM

So the owner is willing to foot the bill…but the NFL is telling him he’s got to stay in MO?

W.T.F.

Doesn’t the guy have a legal department or a backbone? Why sit there and take this anal intrusion when he wants to move *his* property to where *he* wants and use his money to do so?

BlaxPac on August 9, 2015 at 6:00 PM

Michael Brown Memorial Stadium.

BobMbx on August 9, 2015 at 6:01 PM

Laws… as if that mattered. Judges are what matters.

Exactly. The proletariat doesn’t know how to correctly spend their money; that’s what Holy Mother Government is for. Judges exist to keep the proles in their place, and prevent them from questioning their betters.
After all, you didn’t earn that money; Holy Mother Government earned it for you. Or, something…

orangemtl on August 9, 2015 at 6:06 PM

So, having a stadium is going to prompt gazillions of people to go to downtown St Louis and spend time and money? Really?

My daughter toured schools in the Midwest with her mother and me last year. She got it into her head that St Louis U was an option. Sure, pumpkin: go take a look with Mom. Dad’s working that week.
They drove to St Louis, through the neighborhood of SLU, took one look, and never. Even. Stopped. Continued driving to the next school on the trip. True story.

Hello, University of Iowa Class of 2019. Goodbye, s**thole once known as the Gateway to the West.

orangemtl on August 9, 2015 at 6:13 PM

Michael Brown Memorial Stadium.

BobMbx on August 9, 2015 at 6:01 PM

Don’t joke: If the stadium is built with public money, don’t be surprised the least if they don’t try to push THAT idea on the Governor…and he’d fold like an old lawn chair and do it too.

BlaxPac on August 9, 2015 at 6:14 PM

The best stadium deal for the Taxpayers was in New England, where the Patriots paid 100% of the $325 million construction cost of Gillette Stadium…

oddball on August 9, 2015 at 6:21 PM

AesopFan on August 9, 2015 at 5:53 PM

As a math teacher, I salute you sir/madam. Well done!

NY2SC on August 9, 2015 at 6:29 PM

St. Louis may build new football stadium with taxpayer dollars without taxpayer approval

“Taxpayers approval”? What a quaint notion.

whatcat on August 9, 2015 at 6:31 PM

public financing of stadiums and teams threatening to move is something europeans don’t deal with. It’s quite funny when you think about the fact that professional football is a million times more socialist/statist than professional european soccer.

uatu1878 on August 9, 2015 at 7:24 PM

St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Thomas Frawley declared invalid the city ordinance requiring a public vote.

It certainly seems like the role of the Judiciary these days is to excise the will of the People from our system of government.

jnelchef on August 9, 2015 at 7:28 PM

Sorry to be unAmerican, but no professional sports team does useful stuff anytime.
AesopFan on August 9, 2015 at 6:00 PM

Heh, good point. Tho The_Jacobite did have a point – it’s not a first for MN waste. The HHH Metrodome lasted less time than some of the shops in the IDS Center, the tallest MN building in dwtn Minneapolis built circa 1970. (If you ever watched the Mary Tyler Moore Show opening credits you’ve seen it.)

whatcat on August 9, 2015 at 7:29 PM

Reminds me of the City of Arvada (Colorado). One year they asked the voters to approve a new city hall, which was defeated. The next year, the same thing. The next year, they changed the question to basically “where do you want it.”

sadatoni on August 9, 2015 at 8:18 PM

There are only two privately owned sports stadiums in America. Ironically, the owners are bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers (referred to in my household as the “Scum”) and the WORLD CHAMPION SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS. When AT&T was being considered, the city of San Francisco owned a piece of land adjacent to a Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans) lot. Caltrans owned the land currently occupied by the ballpark. The city and state traded real estate. It was a win for Caltrans since the lot was right next to their current yard and therefore more usable. San Francisco sold the land to the Giants. The city made a deal with the team, the Giants didn’t have to pay sales tax on the land for two years, until the park opened. The team paid all legal fees.
Everything about the deal has been successful. The Giants built a privately financed ballpark. By owning their own park they control, and keep the revenue. The city makes a fortune in taxes and parking ($50 for the 2014 World Series). And by the way, my Giants have won three World Series titles in the last five years. And SoMA (south of Market) has exploded with shops restaurants, condominiums…
Baseball makes more sense than football (82 games vs. 8), but it can be done if there is a will. Who would have thought progressive San Francisco would be a blueprint for private enterprise.
GO GIANTS – FOR AMERICA!

BWG on August 9, 2015 at 8:34 PM

But … the courts have progressed well beyond the constricting and suffocating limits of the meanings of words.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 9, 2015 at 3:40 PM

Yeah, like “marriage” or “interstate commerce” or “rights”.

Hey, Jazz, did the judge give ANY reasoning for his actions? Did he just totally pull this out from under his black robe? Or did you forget to report that part? Even if it’s specious, it’s still important to report why he thinks what he thinks, so we get more than outrage – we can form a rational basis for impeaching the guy (or putting him in the stocks or whatnot).

GWB on August 9, 2015 at 8:35 PM

See, for example, Detroit. New baseball and football stadia right next to each other. Some restaurants in the surrounding block. Go one more block over and it’s Berlin circa 1946.

I don’t know how literally you intend this to mean, but the stadiums are pretty close to the Woodward business area to be a extension of it. One boundary is formed by I-375. If you are a Detroiter you know that the majority of the stadium parking is on nearby lots, which obviously takes some time to walk to. Downtown Detroit isn’t that bad, but once you get out of the eight sq mil area of Downtown, Midtown, Corktown, Wayne State, etc., all bets are off.

307wolverine on August 9, 2015 at 9:22 PM

Focus on what is most important this season: Dethroning the Steelers as the sole team with the most Super Bowl wins. Pull for the Cowboys or Niners this season. If they don’t do the needful, then pull for the Pats or Packers to join them in breathing down Pittsburgh’s neck. Bronze goes to Raiders, Redskins, or Giants joining the on-deck circle.

Christien on August 9, 2015 at 9:55 PM

St Louis is a sports town, so there are diehards here that will support ANY professional team.

Personally I think that our elected leaders are complete idiots, the Rams owner is only in it for himself, and it’s a bad deal financially for a city that needs a complete administrative overhaul.

Take the team and get them out of here. We really don’t need to subsidize a millionaire.

GeeWhiz on August 9, 2015 at 11:29 PM

The Rams need a new stadium…

My reaction is the same as it was for the Jack Kent Cooke / FedEx Field thread from a months ago: they just got one. About twenty years ago.

bmmg39 on August 10, 2015 at 12:11 AM

In Charlotte, NC, the ‘Uptown’ leaders decided to build a new basketball arena, to replace a 15-20 year old stadium previously occupied by the Hornets. It was put to a referendum, and lost overwhelmingly. So they went ahead and built it anyway. Where once the NCAA could play regional games leading up to the final four, now the facility was too small to host the games. It’s been expensively repaired twice since it was built five years ago.
So, St. Louis isn’t alone in stuffing projects down the taxpayer’s throats.

Oh, did I forget to mention that it is now a heavily democratic council that lined up the taxpayer against the wall?

Silvergoat on August 10, 2015 at 4:31 AM

The thing about modern stadiums that makes the deals for them even worse for city and state taxpayers is that the team owners have taken to seeing them as disposable items, with a shelf-life only slightly longer than some of the most veteran players in the leagues. In some cases, the construction bonds are not even paid off before there are calls to tear them down.

So a stadium like the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis — which was opened only 20 years ago — is now considered antiquated and in need of replacement, as is 19-year-old Turner Field for the Braves in Atlanta. At least the older stadiums were expected to have a 45-50 year lifespan, and you can assume that even the new stadiums with supposedly state-of-the-art luxury boxes, will be considered obsolete around 2030 or so, because some other new stadium has even better facilities for the high-dollar customers.

jon1979 on August 10, 2015 at 6:39 AM

We have a banana republic President, a banana republic Supreme Court, and a banana republic congress. Why would you expect anything else than a banana republic court decision in St Louis?

Ceteris Paribus on August 10, 2015 at 6:53 AM

Considering there was an ordinance that said the people should get to vote on funding a new stadium, then they probably should.

But the idea that they otherwise have some “right” to do so is nonsense. That’s what you elect a government for. If the people you elected think it makes sense to fund a stadium, that’s the end of it. If you disagree, next time, vote those people out of office.

It’s really that simple. The ordinance that says they should get a vote, notwithstanding.

deadrody on August 10, 2015 at 6:53 AM

Yeah. Banana republic ordinances must be formally rejected under banana republic laws by banana republic voters. Good luck with that.

Ceteris Paribus on August 10, 2015 at 6:59 AM

Threatening to move seems to be the nfl plan to get upgrades for their teams. Tampa did the same thing. The Bucs threatened to leave and oh, the horror stories coming out about losing money locally. The Big Sombrero wasn’t that old and held more people. Since it wasn’t being filled, the plan was to build a smaller size stadium and raise the prices, so a spiffy new one was built adjacent to the old one on tax payer dime. Same thing happened in Jacksonville when they decided the Gator Bowl was too old to play in anymore and they built a new smaller stadium and sold the naming rights. They still don’t fill that one except for a certain Saturday in late October.

Kissmygrits on August 10, 2015 at 8:50 AM

“‘Adjacent’ has commonly been interpreted by Missouri courts to mean ‘near or close at hand and as ‘not necessarily meaning contiguous,’” Frawley wrote in his ruling, “i.e. not necessarily meaning touching each other or immediately next to each other.”

No, that’s exactly what it means i.e. next to, adjoining, contiguous, bordering. Ignoring facts doesn’t mean they cease to be facts.

RadClown on August 10, 2015 at 9:42 AM

+1 This:

Second is the action of a black robed judge to rubber stamp the actions of the state – not only regardless of the wishes of the voter / taxpayer – but in complete contempt to the thought that the voter / taxpayer should even have a voice in the matter. An unaccountable judge has place himself above the people yet again – and ignores or invalidates other laws that are inconvenient. The concept of a person of the law – selectively enforcing the law is the measure of a state with an equal contempt towards the rule of law and the rights of the people.

Athos on August 9, 2015 at 3:43 PM

Sums up the current state of government at all levels. It starts at the highest levels of government and trickles down, just like BS. We need to limit the government’s ability to spend our money. Fair Tax, anyone?

conservablogger on August 10, 2015 at 10:26 AM

Sorry to be unAmerican, but no professional sports team does useful stuff anytime.

AesopFan on August 9, 2015 at 6:00 PM

Well, perhaps not.

But you can use stadiums for other stuff, like conventions, concerts, and whatnot. Not terribly useful things, but non-sports stuff, at any rate.

But since sports stadia don’t seem to last even twenty years now (The Braves are building a new one despite Turner Field being only 19 years old), I think the New Horizons prediction seems a decent bet. It will be out returning data from the outer resources of the Kuiper Belt, where it may even find a Minnesota Vikings Lombardi trophy. Certainly it won’t be found on Earth.

The_Jacobite on August 10, 2015 at 5:16 PM

There are only two privately owned sports stadiums in America. Ironically, the owners are bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers (referred to in my household as the “Scum”) and the WORLD CHAMPION SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS.

BWG on August 9, 2015 at 8:34 PM

You’re right about the Dodgers and Giants, but they aren’t the only ones who own their stadium(s). The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs own theirs, too. The Panthers own their stadium…and then there’s Lambeau Field, which is owned by the city of Green Bay – but then the city also basically owns the team, too. But Green Bay is the oddball team all around.

But yes – the great majority of stadiums are not owned by their resident teams, but some public authority.

The_Jacobite on August 10, 2015 at 5:25 PM

You’ve missed the biggest irony — the owner of the Rams wants to pay for a stadium out of his own money, but in Los Angeles! It’s only because of NFL pressure and the desire of St. Louis officials to keep a team that he’s not already been given approval to do so.

woocane on August 9, 2015 at 5:52 PM

That’s a great point.

Of course, Kroenke wants to move the team to LA because he thinks he can make more money there (which is probably true).

Meanwhile, two other California NFL teams want to move to LA, too – the Chargers and Raiders. They’re trying to build their own stadium in LA, too, because they’ve given up trying to get new stadiums in their respective cities.

But since LA probably can’t support two teams (big market, but not much NFL support), it seems more sensible to let Kroenke build his stadium and move his team into it, and offer up St. Louis to whichever runner-up team will pay to build their stadium instead in St. Louis.

The_Jacobite on August 10, 2015 at 5:29 PM