(KPLR) - What's changed since 1995? You mean besides 9/11, two wars, economic collapse that sort of thing? What's changed is that the public is no longer willing to cough up tax dollars for sports teams.
There are some exceptions. Jerry Jones’s mammoth Cowboys stadium cost over a billion dollars. Between increased taxes and 325 million in bonds, taxpayers footed about half the bill. New Jersey taxpayers also funded a big chunk of the one point seven billion dollars for the New Giants and Jets stadium. Arizona taxpayers coughed up cash to help The Big Red build their desert palace outside Phoenix.
But other taxpayers have become a lot more cranky. The Minnesota Vikings are floating a plan for a new stadium. Price tag? Close to a billion dollars. Taxpayers share? A little more than half. But the Minnesota state legislature is having second and third thoughts about Okaying a deal like that.
Which brings us to the Rams. In 1995 the dot com bubble was still bubbling. Clinton was president. The U.S. had a budget surplus. TWA, Anheuser Busch, AG Edwards, were all locally headquartered. Chrysler in Fenton and Ford in Hazelwood employed thousands. And the economy wouldn't crater for another 13 years. In 2010, the St. Louis area has a lot less money collectively than we did before.
In 1995 the city, county and state granted a sweet deal to the Rams. Low rent. New stadium built by taxpayers. Lots of luxury suite sales. In 2010, there's less corporate money and taxpayers seem to be in no mood to finance anything for pro sports teams. The Cardinals had to build the new Busch with private money. If taxpayers get to vote on it, the Rams may be on their own when it comes to dome upgrades.
I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.