Leaders to discuss funding for Scottrade Center renovations

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Scottrade Center is in need of upgrades to remain competitive if the city wants to hosts future collegiate wrestling and basketball tournaments, as well as concerts and other big events, St. Louis Blues Chairman Tom Stillman said Tuesday at a news conference.

Stillman, joined by Mayor Francis Slay and Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed, said the building, which opened in 1994, generates more than $130 million in direct spending and $14 million in direct taxes annually.

The city owns Scottrade Center, but the Blues operate and manage the building. In addition to the Blues’ 41 regular season games, about 120 other events take place annually at the facility.

The proposed renovations include a bigger scoreboard, revamped seating, remodeled locker rooms, a larger Blues team store, and a new ice plant for the rink. Another big part of the project is an enclosed beer garden on the plaza near Clark Avenue. The garden would be two levels and would be attached to the main building. It could possibly be open year-round.

The proposal would not require state funding of any kind, an important point considering Governor-elect Eric Greitens’ opposition to using public dollars for sports stadiums.

The city would use tax revenue derived from the Scottrade Center itself to pay for $67.5 million in local bonds.

The board of aldermen could take up the bill as early as Tuesday and would not require public approval, Reed said.