Gov. Jay Nixon weighs in on new St. Louis NFL stadium

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon talked about the latest plans for the new football stadium on the riverfront.

NFL owner meetings will be held next month. The stadium task force is marshaling all the support it can for a nearly $1 billion dollar new stadium proposal. Fans are invited to a pep rally at the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis before the Rams face the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday night.

But so far, some key lawmakers in Jefferson City have not joined the band wagon.

the vision of a striking new open air stadium perched on the St. Louis riverfront is appealing to city leaders who want to boost the appearance of the downtown riverfront. They also believe a new stadium will help the city`s economic development.

Critics in the Missouri legislature and some in the community question whether taxpayers should be on the hook for a second football stadium before the current one is even paid for.

Governor nixon insists it is not a risky proposition. "The only way we`re gonna move forward is if we have a concrete deal as well as a long term commitment from the league and a team that we will remain an NFL city. All those protections were what we laid out back in what I laid out originally in December."

The first group of economic development bonds for the stadium has already been approved by the Missouri development finance board. If lawmakers refuse to pay the bill for those bonds it could hurt the state`s AAA credit rating.

"Well Missouri`s credit rating, in order to keep that credit rating, we have to pay our bonds and we have a lot of bonds projects going." said Gov. Jay Nixon.

"I don`t want to give up because some legislators that are out expressing opposition in one way or the other to this. Things that are important are usually hard to get done. Big things are hard to get done. We`re certainly used to that, so it`s not scaring us away." said Mayor Francis Slay.