Lawsuit tries to avoid public vote on a new downtown NFL stadium

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The public body that owns and operates the Edward Jones Dome filed suit Friday against the city of St. Louis. They are trying to avoid a public vote on the use of taxpayer money for a new downtown football stadium. The St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Authority would ultimately be responsible for building the proposed stadium on the riverfront. The RSA is suing St. Louis city claiming the city ordinance requiring a citywide vote before public funds are spent on a stadium is, “Overly broad, vague and ambiguous.” The city says the ordinance is legal.

The Mayor’s office released a statement saying, “They will vigorously defend the ordinance that requires a vote.” Also stating, “Whatever the outcome is the city will follow the law.”

The release reveals some of the city’s role in the stadium project. The city will continue to make payments on the the debt for the dome. It will also contribute or sell land that it owns in the project area. Finally, the city will use a portion of the taxes generated by the stadium and parking.

The city’s participation would be less than 15% of the total project cost. It would only happen along with  $450 million in private investment and obviously a lease from an NFL franchise.

Governor Jay Nixon says in a statement, “Last year, I asked Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz to develop a proposal that would leverage private dollars to protect taxpayers, revitalize a distressed area, create jobs and allow St. Louis to remain an NFL City. I especially appreciate Bob and Dave’s work to identify a path forward that would impose no new burdens on taxpayers. Because this plan would impose no new taxes and instead use funding that has already been approved by the voters, another public vote is not required.”

It appears this issue will be settled in court.

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