ST. LOUIS – Fox 2’s You Paid for It team is taking a hard to at the fate of The Dome at America's Center in downtown St. Louis. The building where the Rams used to play is facing an uncertain future.
Investigative reporter Elliott Davis spoke with Kathleen “Kitty” Ratcliffe, the head of the Convention and Visitors Commission, who said some big decisions must be made by 2025.
Those decision will determine whether the building is torn down or gets a facelift.
Taxpayers still owe $144 million on the building. The bonds will be paid off in 2021. The governments have made an agreement to maintain the building thru 2025. That's when everyone can bail out of funding agreements, which would leave the Dome in a bad place.
Ratcliffe would like to see improvements made to the Dome, like adding more loading docks, improving the aesthetics, and improving connectivity to the convention center. However, that could come with a hefty price tag upwards of $300 million, money that Ratcliffe suggests could come from the city, county, and state.
At present, the city pays $6 million a year for the Dome, St. Louis County pays $6 million, and the state of Missouri pays $12 million.
The challenge will be convincing everyone to keep paying on an investment that cost taxpayers $280 million back in 1995.
Doing that will be a tough sell for a building that was constructed as a football stadium but now has no team.