New developments in Riverfront Stadium proposal

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – New signs of growing momentum toward building a new riverfront football stadium and keeping the Rams in St. Louis emerged, Tuesday.

A team source told FOX 2 that even with all the news about the Rams possibly moving to Los Angeles, ticket sales and season ticket renewals for 2015 were ahead of 2014.

There was more news “hidden” in a new set of stadium renderings just released by the stadium task force, led by former Anheuser-Busch executive, Dave Peacock.

The changes from the 1st drawings to the latest are hard to notice at first glance but there’s at least 1 building left standing that wasn’t previously there:  Shady Jack’s restaurant and bar on Broadway.

“I announced everything this morning [to the staff] that ‘we’re here. We’re here to stay’,” said owner, Jack Larrison.

Shady Jack’s, an internationally famous biker bar was to become a parking lot.

“Even at some of the meetings I said, ‘I’m not an obstructionist, I just want to go forward’. The evolution of progress is going forward.  I just want to be part of it.  It looks like we’re going to be,” Larrison said.

The number of seats in the new renderings is down to 62,000 from 64,000.

The real “story” may have to do with the prominent new yellow seats, seen in a field view.

They represent “club seats” extending down to the field.  There are also more open areas around the concessions stands with views of the field.

Those changes came from the Rams, task force members said. Rams C.O.O., Kevin Demoff, had become more and more involved in the St. Louis stadium process, they said.

There’s another feature from the renderings.

Beyond the stadium there’s an extension of park space and the Riverfront Trail, north from the Arch, over the water and around the close to $1 billion dollar stadium.

The idea has the endorsement of the Great Rivers Greenway organization, which has been working for years to connect people to the Mississippi, Missouri, and Meramec Rivers.

A stadium has never been part of the vision until now.

Great Rivers Greenway Executive Director, Susan Trautman, said she spoke with Peacock about the project for the 1st time Tuesday.  He asked that her organization be involved in the process moving forward.

“If the stadium happens that’s terrific.  If it doesn’t, we’ve got the conversation going,” Trautman said.  “We want a place that you want to be; that you want to pack up a picnic with your kids and come down to the river and see what’s happening – music, theater, art, and all the things that draw people  together and bring us together as a community…football would work,” she laughed.

Sources admitted the stadium was still not close to becoming reality.

But the project is about more than football now.  The Rams are involved.  Momentum continues to grow.

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