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Dear Rams, Good Luck In Your Next City, We Don’t Need The NFL

May 30, 2012 Downtown, Featured, STL Region 61 Comments
ABOVE: Dome would be expanded across the existing Broadway and Baer Plaza

No doubt about it, I’m ready for the Rams to pack their bags. Head to Los Angeles, or London, I don’t care. St. Louis has three professional sports teams right now, that’s at least one more than we can realistically support. Without question the St. Louis Cardinals MLB team has the most love from the region.

I don’t think we, as tax payers, should support any progressional sport other than buying a ticket if we want to see a game. These teams are owned by very wealthy people who do this as a hobby. That said, I do believe in investing in infrastructure so that additional private investment is made. But I don’t see investing $1 to get a 15¢ return. I want government to invest $1 and get a $5 return on that investment through additional investment and/or tax revenue.

With the number of MLB games and the excellent performance of the Cardinals we probably break even on the government-funding of Busch Stadium. Well, once we actually see some revenue from a complete Ballpark Village. But NFL plays so few home games per year it seems impossible to get a decent return on our investment. I’ve not studied the numbers but many have. I found a PDF called 8 Reasons to Reject Publicly Financed Stadiums For Professional Sports Teams that has a good list:

  1. Public Money for Private Gain.
  2. Negligible Economic Benefits.
  3. Costs Outweigh the Benefits.
  4. Destroys jobs and drives down wages.
  5. Stadiums can be built with private money.
  6. Doesn’t Improve Team Performance.
  7. Doesn’t improve team attendance. Research also shows that new stadiums have little impact on long-term attendance.
  8. Diverts resources from funding priorities.

Click the link above to see explanations for each item.

But perceptions about sports will muddy this issue. The following are taken from the same commenter on the original post, but from two different comments:

 If St. Louis goes dark in pro football, it will be a big loss to the region.  St. Louis needs and can support three pro sports.

Warning, the sky will fall. We need three pro teams. BS!! For most of the last 50-60 years we’ve had 2-3 pro sports teams. How has that benefitted us? We’ve lost population, schools have declined, the corporate headquarters here has dropped. If you’ll have less civic pride if we go from three to two pro teams then you don’t really appreciate all that St. Louis is about. We didn’t have pro football when I moved here in 1990, it wasn’t important to me personally.

The provided answers in my poll last were very biased, something I try to avoid. But it happened.

Q: How Should The St. Louis Region, via the CVC, Respond To The Rams?

  1. Wish them well in London, LA, or ? 68 [45.64%]
  2. Agree to their proposal but only if it comes with a new 30-year lease 51 [34.23%]
  3. Remind them the Cardinals won the World Series twice since the one time the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl. 14 [9.4%]
  4. Other: 13 [8.72%]
  5. Bendover and pay whatever it takes to keep them here for the last 10 years of the original lease 2 [1.34%]
  6. Unsure/no opinion 1 [0.67%]

The other answers were:

  1. certainly don’t bendover but emphasize compromise
  2. Make some improvements but not 700m worth
  3. Less Public $, More Private $ otherwise deal’s over.
  4. I’m trying to care about this, but I just can’t.
  5. Your options certainly show your bias
  6. how about compromise, STL NEEDS NFL
  7. Negotiate a new lease, meet the Rams somewhere in the middle
  8. Ignore them.
  9. Tell Kroenke to go **** himself
  10. Don’t have anymore regional funds to waste on the rams…
  11. The answers you provided clearly show your bias in this poll
  12. negotiate
  13. tif or special use tax

If the Rams want to build a privately financed facility in Fenton or somewhere  out in big open space I’d have no objections. Otherwise, get lost. The CVC’s original proposal was excessive and the Rams’ response isn’t even close to reality. They are testing us to see how gullible we are. We were desperate to get a team twenty years ago when we were building the dome but weren’t awarded an expansion team. We got screwed on the terms of the original lease, I don’t want us to get screwed again.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "61 comments" on this Article:

  1. Capschamp2001 says:

    So just to clarify, you searched the internet until you found a study that supported your views? Is that how journalism is done these days?

     As you mention the regression of St. Louis as a legitimate metropolitan area has nothing to do with pro sports. It has to do with lack of vision, an enabling mindset for unemployment and crime, and folks like yourself satisfied with the status quo. The potential loss of the Rams is just the exhaust of this belief system. 

  2. I know lots of declining cities in America that have three or four professional sports teams.  Does it help with prestige sometimes?  Of course, who would have ever heard of Green Bay if it didn’t have the Packers?  But has Green Bay exploded into one of the most prosperous cities in America?  Not that I know of.  David Nicklaus at the P-D wrote a great article about this:


  3. Jennifer says:

    I think this issue is a lot easier in St. Louis than it is in, for example, Minnesota. In St. Louis, we don’t have a legacy team with support that goes back generations. The Vikings have been in place since 1961. That’s a long time for the culture of a region to get invested into a team. The Rams have not only not been in St. Louis very long in comparison, but their time here has involved only one brief run of success. Now, as a football fan I complain about fair-weather fans all the time; but as an observer of regional culture I have to point out that one of the reasons everyone loves the Cards is that they are consistent winners over time. When they aren’t winning the World Series they’re at least playing well more seasons than not; more importantly, there are so many games in a season – and tickets can still be had inexpensively, if not free through one connection or another – that people have a really good chance of seeing a winning game or two in the season. The Cardinals are a part of St. Louis in a way that the Rams are not, and won’t be for another twenty years or more (and never will be if they can’t get their act together and win at least half their games in a season, which they haven’t done since 2006).

    My point is that a team that is woven through the fabric of a region, like the Vikings or the Cards, almost certainly have a much greater civic and economic impact than a team like the Rams, with this lease issue hanging over them since the beginning. Add in NFL-mandated broadcast blackouts on a team that nobody wants to pay a hundred bucks to go see them not just lose, but give up before the end of the first quarter. Add in the generally depressed economy and St. Louis’s slow recovery. Add in population loss. Add in regional fears about traveling “downtown” (when “downtown” to many people means “anywhere in the City”) and becoming a crime victim. Add in well-publicized attacks like TKO game and all those cars vandalized at a Cardinals game. Add in the poorly-planned facility that leaves no room for the establishment of traditions like tailgate alley. Add in the deserted feel of St. Louis streets on a Sunday morning that discourages people from coming early or lingering long after the game. It all adds up to limit the success of the Rams at their current location, which limits the impact on the region if they go elsewhere.

    Lord knows I love pro football. But when I was in high school and college, we made due with the Chiefs and high school football. We can do it again.

  4. Rick says:

    The Roman Coliseum was paid for with tax dollars so that Roman citizens could enjoy seeing beefy grown men bang their heads into each other.  Same difference.      

  5. Sam Snelling says:

    As usual there is something in the middle that is missed.  They are negotiating right now.  CVC said here’s what we wanna do, and started low… Rams said here’s what we wanna do, and started high.  They’ll probably meet somewhere in the middle.

    But the truth is that the improvements to the Dome are greatly needed for the region as a contender for convention and other large sporting events, as well as create a better environment for a city to river end.

    • The CVC proposal was too high, unless the Rams picked up most of the tab. Somewhere in the middle isn’t acceptable to me.

      • Sam Snelling says:

         Ah, the negotiating ploys of the republican party.  Glad you aren’t running the city then. 😉

        • Rick says:

          Steve, what does the statement “We don’t need the NFL” mean?  When it comes to needs, doesn’t that count for things like food, shelter, housing, and love? Sure we don’t *need* the NFL, but do we *want* the NFL?  Isn’t that the question we should be asking?   

      • STL Rams Central says:

        LOL the CVC proposal was too high even though they agreed to this lease which requires 15 conditions be met at a top tier level? I don’t hear Indy people complaining about their facility.  Denver metro is essentially the same size as the STL metro with 4 major sports but you want two?  Pretty sad that you admit to wanting to run the Rams out of town.  And the CVC’s low-ball offer that Kitty Ratcliffe admitted that she did not expect to be accepted by the Rams was too high?  LOL.  That’s a good one.  So it wasn’t acceptable to you?  And? At last check you were just one person with one opinion- one apparently small, short-term opinion of what a great facility can do for a city in both direct and indirect benefits, not limited to financial.  

    • JZ71 says:

      The dome, in either its existing condition or in a new, “improved”, version 2.0, will never be a good convention facility.  If you’ve ever been in a successful, major convention center, you find hundreds of thousands of square feet of CONTIGUOUS exhibition space with good truck access (for loading and unloading).  The dome will always be the annex, the less-desirable exhibition space, IF it remains a multi-use facility.  The only way to improve the current facilities to attract more and better conventions is to get away from the multi-use concept and to make it exclusively an exhibition space, with no fixed seating.

      I agree on the negotiating part, both on how far apart they started and on the need for compromise.  What isn’t clear is how any public funding will be implemented.  Assuming the Rams and the CVC hammer out an agreement, or receive some sort of mandate from the arbitrator, what’s next?  I doubt the Rams will want to write a check for the full amount, and there’s likely little left from the expenses currently funded by the 3.75% hotel tax.  Will the tax be expanded to hotels in Jefferson, Madison, St. Clair and St. Charles counties, on both sides of the river?  Will visitors to the city and the county be forced to pay higher hotel taxes?  Will property and/or sales taxes go up?  The Rams are a regional amenity, not one embraced solely by residents of St. Louis city and county, and any public contribution needs regional funding.

  6. someoneelse says:

    Left unaddressed is the fact that the NFL game as currently constituted has severe long term consequences for the players.  Is that the kind of entertainment we, as a community, want to give subsidies to?

    • JZ71 says:

      The same can be said of our never-ending wars around the world – what’s your point?  These athletes (and soldiers) are making a choice that short term financial gains outweigh the long-term health issues.  No one in an official capacity is forcing anyone to play football or to join our all-volunteer military (or to smoke or to walk into a casino), and the potential consequences are known.  I don’t think we should be subsidizing any professional sports team, but I only get one vote (just like you).  I’m also a big believer in personal choice.  Do we essentially ban the NFL by not funding the Rams?  What about MMA?  Gun sales?  Tobacco sales?  Marijuana?  Bath salts?  Fast food?  Cars with 500 horsepower?  300?  200?  People have every right to be stupid, including spending THEIR money watching violent “sports”.  I only draw the line when they start to want my money.  I don’t care if it’s the NBA, NFL, MLB, WWE, MMA, NHRA, PGA or the USTA – do what you want, just keep your hand out of my pocket!

  7. Rick says:

    Steve, you have nothing to worry about.  The Roman Empire fell and St. Louis will soon be a non-NFL franchise city.  While the rest of the big league cities across the country are having football parties, look forward to a long, cold, empty off season between the World Series and Spring Training.

    • samizdat says:

       Oh, noes, I have a sad.

      ‘Cos, yeah, there is absolutely NOTHING to do in the STL during the winter./s

      Listen pal, just because your life is an empty wasteland without the presence of some kind of sport to entertain you, doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to support your habit. Ever thought of taking up Scrabble? Sex with an attractive human being? Tiddly-winks?

      • Rick says:

        Dude, nice try.  I find lots of things to do in St. Louis.  Attending NFL games on occasion is one of them.  But it’s hardly a habit.  For someone I usually agree with, you can be a bit disagreeable at times 🙂 

  8. guest says:

    I’ve lived in two prosperous cities with NO professional sports teams.  Austin and Portland.  Yes, Austin has UT, but still.  No one cared, the regions grew and grew.  I just don’t think it matters to most people.  

  9. Rick says:

    Portland Trail Blazers?  Hello?  Anyhow, is anyone else as through as me about hearing stories about how awesome Portland and Austin are?  Who cares?  There are lots of great places.  Besides, Austin is too hot, and Portland is too wet.   And both are waaay too expensive.    

  10. Guest says:

    I find a few of the perceptions out in the public a bit skewed:
    1) The Rams didn’t build the first dome or say that it had to be a multipurpose facility, it was our civic leaders. So the fact that it’s a crap convention center has nothing to do with the Rams.
    2) The Rams didn’t screw St. Louis with the deal, the civic leaders decided that they wanted to accept the last set of terms thrown their way. This is like going to buy a car and paying sticker and then getting mad about it 15 years later. You didn’t negotiate at all? You accepted those terms? Shame on you.
    3) The Rams, chose to postpone the “top tier” triggers the first time they came around, trying to do the city a favor. It happened.
    So, while San Kronke can be looked at with some skepticism, no one is going after our mayor or the other leaders that signed that lease for St. Louis. That’s were this deal went south, from day one.
    4) This city has supported three teams and can easily do so Steve. We have realistically supported 3 teams in the past and have done so since 1995, along with the money in this region going to support SLU and Mizzou.

  11. Rick says:

    This is a good example of a wedge issue.  See the comments stacking up and see how the discussion quickly devolves into name calling?  What are some other good wedge issues?  Let’s see…”Suburbs suck”.  “Demolitions suck”.  “Schools suck”.  “Highways suck”.  No doubt discussions on those topics would quickly turn into an exchange of insults too.     

  12. DaveOfRichmond says:

    St. Louis seems to be the city for “vagabond” NFL franchises, The NFL Cardinals (remember them?) were originally in Chicago, moved to StL in 1960, then on to Phoenix in 1988 (does anyone miss them?)  The Rams were originally the Cleveland Rams, moved to LA in the late ’40’s, then to StL in the 90’s, now perhaps somewhere else. 

    There was actually an NFL team called the St Louis Gunners, for three games in the 1934 season, after a team called the Cincinnati Reds collapsed and the franchise rights were picked up by the previously semi-pro Gunners.  The owner ran out of money before the ’35 season and that was it for the Gunners, but the franchise rights still existed and in 1937 they were awarded to…The Cleveland Rams.  Maybe if the Rams leave, the Cardinals will come back in a few years.  I kid.  Or do I?

    Losing the baseball Cardinals would be a much bigger deal.  They’ve been in StL for well over 100 years and have been, arguably, the 2nd most successful MLB franchise (The Yankees being first, of course), have put enormous talent into the league (most obviously Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith and Albert Pujols, but there have been many others), and have had a hand in much baseball lore over the years (Grover Cleveland Alexander in the ’26 Series, Enos Slaughter’s dash for home to win the ’46 series, last years’ Series, etc etc).  They are an institution in the city, as far as I’m concerned.  Plus their new stadium has a great view from behind home plate that shows the Arch and some of the buildings downtown, which is always shown several times whenever the games are televised – nice ad for the city.  Can’t get that from the Dome.

    • Rick says:

      The football Cardinals won’t be returning to St. Louis any time soon.  Phoenix has a new football palace.  “NFL football” in the 1930s and 40s was not the NFL of today.  Not even close.  The NFL today is THEE #1 form of entertainment on the planet, by far, and (drum roll, please…) St. Louis is about to get *out* of the game!

      • And St. Louis will still be a great place to live without the NFL, we’ll have two more pro teams than many cities.

        • Rick says:

          Stipulated: No city “needs” pro football.  

          Question: Name the only top fifteen (or is top 20?) region in the country with the likelihood of losing  its NFL franchise. 

          • Rick says:

            Answer: St. Louis (#19th largest US metro area) will be the only metro area in the top 20 in the US to not have an NFL franchise.

      • msrdls says:

        Your claim that NFL is the #1 form of entertainment on the planet doesn’t  sound too convincing (to me) in light of St. Louis’ willingness (eagerness) to give it up.  What’s the deal here? Are St. Louisans inherently naive,  foolish and/or shortsighted…..or maybe they’ve grown more astute and alert because of the hard knocks they still feel from previous deals gone not-so-good. Only time will tell. I’m betting that after the Rams leave, we’ll be reminded of their presence in STL only when we hear on the news that they’ve lost another game, or when it’s time to make the next mortgage payment on the football stadium. I’d rather have a root canal than attend a football game. Does that make me un-American, or just un-American in spirit?

  13. Rick says:

    Handicapping the possible NFL teams moving to LA.  Even Portland is in the hunt:


  14. Rick says:

    NFL football is a luxury item for the in-person crowd, and accessible to all via TV, but definitely not “needed”.   I wonder what the NFL will say to the people of St. Louis when the Rams leave town?  “So long, suckers!”  Ya think?  I don’t think so.  Probably something more along the lines of “what a great sports town St. Louis is” and “how great the fans have been here over the years”.   Then maybe some platitudes about how someday the NFL will be back in St. Louis.  Or not.  Maybe one those things where they say, “hmmm (frown), they lost the Cardinals, now the Rams, St. Louis is really not a NFL market.”  Time to move on.  Let’s see.  City losing population, STL County losing population, and lots of locals ushering the NFL out of town.  Does anyone else see a general downward trend?  This is probably going to be one of those things where by the time people wake up to the negative reality of this, the damage will be done and the moving vans will be packed.  

  15. STL Rams Central says:

    You sure as heck do not speak for me or many, many others in saying you want the Rams to leave.  I would much rather you leave.  

  16. Moe says:

    To those that want the NFL to stay, then I would suggest you find a way to pay for it out of your own pocket, then they can stay all they want.  How one can be happy about spending $$$$, either in ticket prices or taxes, to help a multi-millionaire when he cares little about what price he charges you and what his return is (a losing team) is amazing.

    But fear not, you can still get your football fix watching lingerie football.

  17. Rick says:

    Green Bay did the smart thing.  They bought the team.  Given the amount of public investment in pro sports, especially the modern era of football, that would seem the fair thing to do.  Too bad.  Life’s not fair.  Instead, money rules.  He with the most cash wins.  Kroenke has the deep pockets, owns the team, and the backing of the NFL.  Steve, if the Rams leave, can we thank you and all the opponents of keeping NFL football in St. Louis? 

    • JZ71 says:

      I thought that individual Green Bay residents own shares of the team, not the city government itself:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bay_Packers

      Rick, you’re obviously a huge football fan, someone who lives vicariously through “your” team. As someone who never reached that level of fandom, I don’t really “get it”, but hey, it’s your thing.  But, you are correct, the NFL IS entertainment.  The real question is whether or not government (and taxpayers through their taxes) should be funding certain (but not all) entertainment options for their residents?  You provide multiple rationalizations, but the core issue remains why non-fans should be expected to fund the NFL (and MLB) while not providing the same level of tax support to other forms of entertainment.

      I work with people whose preferred entertainment is gambling – should we subsidize casinos?  I work with other people who like to hit the strip clubs on the east side – should we form tax districts to enhance their revenues?!  Personally, I like to explore craft breweries – should we impose a hotel tax to supplement their income?  All three of these entertainment industries are heavily taxed, with their “fans” actually subsidizing local governments, not the other way around!

      The other big nuance you seem to gloss over is the concept of “national” importance.  Most fans align themselves with a nearby team, not one several states away, the one exception being the Cowboys.  Here, in St. Louis, since the Rams basically suck, we could shift our allegiances to the Chiefs, Colts, Titans, Bears or Cowboys, but most don’t.  And if you live in Cape Girardeau or Springfield or Little Rock, how much of an allegiance do you feel to the nearest team, versus “your” team? 

      Nationally, the one thing that makes St. Louis unique is the arch, period.  Other cities are known for other things – Orlando for Disneyworld, Daytona Beach for the Daytona 500, San Francisco for the Golden Gate bridge, Seattle for the Space Needle.  All these cities have pro sports teams, of some sort, and all are known for “their” teams by aficionados of those sports, but if you ask the general public, individual sports teams RARELY, if ever, are the first thing they come up with, it’s always some structure (NYC – Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building) or annual event (Louisville – Kentucky Derby) or major institution (Columbus – Ohio State).

      I’ll stipulate that every “unique”, identifying structure or event receives some level of taxpayer support, be they roads, public safety or advertising, along with some level of favorable tax treatment.  The hurdle the Rams face is simply one of scale – for an event (which is what an NFL game is) that happens less than a dozen times a year, amortized over 25 years, is it truly worth a direct local taxpayer subsidy in excess of $1.5 million PER GAME?!  $16-20 million per season?  For “entertainment”?  I, and many others, think not . . . .

      • Rick says:

        Sorry, JZ, no, I don’t live “vicariously” through professional sports teams.  I have a  life. 

  18. Eric says:

    No city needs an NFL team. Of course, no city needs urbanism either. They are both expensive things that provide cultural value that some people appreciate and others don’t. I would even submit that many more people appreciate NFL football than urbanism.

    • Moe says:

      So Eric….how much are YOU willing to cough up?  How high will you let your ticket prices go before you say enough?

      • Eric says:

        There are ways of following an NFL team other than buying tickets. I’ve never been to a Rams game. I’ve followed many games on TV/radio/internet.

        • JZ71 says:

          So, if you’ve never been to a game, and only follow them via media, what difference would it make if they played their games in LA, London or Bangalore?  Would you follow them any less religiously?  What if they moved to St. Louis Park, MN. (a suburb of Minneapolis)?  And kept the same name?  Much like the Olympics, media follows the sport and fans watch wherever they may be playing.

          • Rick says:

            So, for example, the whole NFL could outsource operations to say, China or Mexico, and Americans could enjoy it just the same, just that much cheaper, a’la Walmart?  Is that what you’re suggesting, JZ?  Please.

          • JZ71 says:

            Perhaps.  What I’m really trying to understand is why residents and visitors to St. Louis City and St. Louis County (but not any of the other metropolitan counties nor the states of Missouri and/or Illinois) should be dedicating millions of dollars in local tax revenues to “support” one specific form of entertainment, aka a professional football team, that is viewed as a regional amenity?  You continue to argue that we “need” a team, to be competetive with other regions (I don’t agree).  If that’s really true, any funding needs to be regional, not local.  And if you’re like many local fans, and never to go the games in person, then why not let, say, St. Charles or Jefferson County “have” the Rams and let them foot the bill for a stadium that’s only used a dozen times a year?!  Your media experience would be virtually the same as it is today.  What do you personally get from having the Jones Dome downtown?  Arlington is not Dallas, the Meadowlands is not NYC. “Our” team would still be here, they just wouldn’t be a drain on our local tax base.

          • Exactly! Our MSA is 16 counties in two states. The state was involved in the original dome deal.

          • Rick says:

            Guys, you’re both getting waay off point here.  First, I have stated in this thread many times that no region “needs” football.  This is an issue off “want” and not “need”.  Further, it really doesn’t matter where it is, the tax base for one county will never be enough to cover the “public share” of building a new stadium.  It might come down to a regional vote (if only in Missouri).  There’s no way that STL City, and probably STL County, or STCHAZ County on their own would cover the cost to “move” the team to say Fenton or New Town.  It all boils down to whether the region wants/cares about NFL football.  One things for certain:  JZ and Steve P would both vote “NO!”. 

          • It’s unlikely citizens would get anything to actually vote on, If i’d had the chance to vote against building a dome on the hope of getting an expansion team I would have done so.

          • JZ71 says:

            Like you, I like watching the NFL on TV.  I’ve lived in cities that had teams and I’ve lived in cities that did not – there was absolutely no correlation between fan support or interest based on where the games were played, and there remains no correlation between having a team, or not, and regional recognition or success, or not.  The only difference was there was less unaninimity in which team(s) locals supported.  That’s why I don’t get the want/need part for a local team.  I wasn’t here when the Cardinals left, I wasn’t here when the Rams came, but I can identify very little, good or bad, that can be linked directly to either team or to the “dark times” in between – the city continues to struggle, and we need to focus our limited resources not on bread and circuses, but on turning this ship around.  The NFL is a luxury.

            Stadium advocates always trot out claims of supposed economic benefits.  The money spent by most local fans will be spent locally whether the team is playing downtown or in the Meadowlands.  The money spent by locals who actually go see the games in person goes primarily to paying high player salaries, money that gets dispersed over an area much larger than the city of St. Louis.  And, the fans of a visiting team are finite – if we get 10,000 visitors for a game, and we’re subsidizing the Rams to the tune of $1.5 million per game, we better expect to be generating $150 more per visiting fan, just to break even.

    • GMichaud says:

       I’m not entirely sure you understand urbanism, It certainly has nothing to do with buying a ticket to see the Rams. Urbanism is city building from ancient times. Only in recent decades have some cities abandoned urbanism. (Including St. Louis)
      Urbanism is structural, based on efficient economic and social interchange and if the quality of life is enhanced so much the better. (Like Paris, Rome and so on)
      In the end the rampant suburbanization of the St. Louis region will be modified to meet historic necessity.
      This structural Urbanism has many styles across the world. St. Louis cannot escape the
      laws of evolution. The decline of St. Louis is overwhelming evidence of poor and incorrect decisions that have been made. Do we really need another 10 years of decline to be convinced current policies are not working?
      St. Louis was able to stage the Worlds Fair in 1904 because urbanism was used effectively.
      Urbanism is not a choice, it is a foundation to build on, just as stone holds up these old buildings.

      St. Louis should be such a cool, happening city the Rams wouldn’t even consider leaving.  Instead the city government is more interested in seeing how many buildings they can demolish. I think if there was real concern for the principles of city building the Rams leaving would have never been an issue. Even the design of the Edward Jones Dome is so poor it makes you wonder what they didn’t come up with a modular design if they were going to contractually agree to NFL upgrades

      In short the failure to keep the Rams mirrors the failure of Urbanism. It all lands at the feet of the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen.

      • Branwell1 says:

        >>It all lands at the feet of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen<<

        Which mayor and which BOA? I don't think the Rams care about or are even truly cognizant of "urbanism". As you are well aware, the trends of sprawl and suburbanization go back many, many years. Decisions made in this region before 1904 are affecting us today. No St. Louis mayor or politician could or can counter/control development and government policy trends prevailing throughout the USA, not just in this city.

        The single historical decision to draw city boundaries at 61 square miles in 1876 has been more the impediment to the City of St. Louis than any plethhora of planning and development decisions since. I have never understood the reasoning, especially since in that period, St. Louis was still very competitive with Chicago to be the premier midwestern metropolis. Given the rate of growth and exploding population after the Civil War, it's hard to fathom how 61 square miles would suffice for a "future great City of the World."

        • GMichaud says:

          Whoever comprises the Board of Aldermen and Mayor, it is about policy not personality.
          The Rams don’t have to be cognizant of urbanism, however if the surrounding city lived up to its potential, the considerations about leaving would be blunted considerably.
          The fact the size of St. Louis is 61 sq miles has nothing to do with urbanism. In fact the currrent 61 square miles has been widly mismanaged nor is the surrounding suburban expansion is any better. 

          • JZ71 says:

            I’m not trying to be snarky, but please explain “if the surrounding city lived up to its potential, the considerations about leaving would be blunted considerably.”  Are you saying that the Rams presence or departure, as an economic entity or a city icon, would be less significant if there were more things happening in the city?  Or, are you saying that an empty Jones Dome would be less noticeable if the surrounding blocks had more active uses and fewer parking lots?  And, if the Rams games were relocated to someplace like Fenton, but stayed in the region, would you view that as a negative or a positive?

          • GMichaud says:

             Branwell1 and JZ, what I am saying if there was a vision for the city and what it should be is  presented as public debate the city a more viable and would be more attractive to the Rams owners. In reverse, it St. Louisians had a strong city sense and self confidence, they would shrug their shoulders say it is the Rams loss to leave. Even in the current wounded St. Louis it would be their loss.
            Why do we get into these detailed debates about the Rams facilities and not the city as a whole?
            And Branwell1, the actual City of London is about 1 square mile.

            As far as the Rams moving to Fenton, I think I am just as tired of supporting the Billionaires and Millionaires as everyone else, even as we destroy education and the rest of America.

            In fact  look at Wal Mart, the whore of the city, moving from muni to muni looking for greater tax breaks.

            There is no sense of community, allegiance and unity. Kroneke and the Rams have the same attitude towards St. Louis. Trust me if Kroneke and Wal Mart leave it will be no loss.

          • Branwell1 says:

            >>Whoever comprises the Board of Aldermen and Mayor, it is about policy not personality.<>if the surrounding city lived up to its potential, the considerations about leaving would be blunted considerably.<>The fact the size of St. Louis is 61 sq miles has nothing to do with urbanism.<<

            I didn't say it did. It does have to do with a tragically short-sighted 1876 decision that relates to our current travails, more than contemporary policy decisions or initiatives available within the political structure of the past 100+ years.  


  19. Rick says:

    Rooting on your home town team is sort of like gardening and keeping up your block.  It’s something you can do with your neighbors.  It builds community.  And with sports, it’s something that crosses all sorts of familiar geographical boundaries (north/south, county/city, urban/suburban, etc).  It does it better than most things. 


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