The St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, the task force spearheading the charge to keep the NFL in eastern Missouri, will request $50MM in state tax credits in an effort to fund its open-air stadium project, the Associated Press reports, as new details emerged on an updated plan.
The $50MM, which will go to fund a now-$998MM project that will attempt to persuade the Rams or another franchise to play football in St. Louis, will be spread over a three-year period. This authority will request these funds to the Missouri Department Finance Board on Tuesday, according to Tim Bryant of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. The $998MM represents a new figure, a $13MM hike from the previous estimate in January, reports Bryant.
This updated proposal calls for construction on a 62,500-seat venue to begin next year and be ready for an inhabitant by August 2019, Bryant reports.
Since the $50MM exceeds the Finance Board’s limit by $40MM, it will require special approval from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s cabinet. For these funds to be approved, the latest application states “tax-related contributions” and “tax credit issuances” would be contingent on an NFL team playing in this facility, notes Bryant.
NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman met with Nixon and additional stadium task force officials Thursday, with stadium financing, land acquisition and the proposed 88-acre north riverfront structure’s design headlining the issues, Bernie Miklasz of the Post Dispatch reports.
Construction costs will occupy the lion’s share of this project, currently tabbed for $820MM, with another $60MM going toward securing the land.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who’s had a plan for an Inglewood, Calif.-housed stadium in the works for months, has not met with Nixon or this task force, showing no interest in this riverfront project, according to Miklasz. Just one of many moving parts to this high-stakes Los Angeles derby, this project has been encouraged by Grubman and Roger Goodell, as the league’s backing of a St. Louis plan depends on this stadium project.
Miklasz notes this expedited stadium push in St. Louis could prevent the Rams from moving or induce another franchise to base itself there. Conversely, the the longtime columnist offers that this plan’s failure could accelerate Kroenke’s request for a move and torpedo St. Louis football.
Goodell has said the league will select only one of the two L.A.-based stadium projects — with the Raiders/Chargers joint venture in Carson, Calif., representing the other option in this fluid process.