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Vikings Metrodome Demolition Got Me Thinking About The St. Louis Rams & The Edward Jones Dome

January 21, 2014 Downtown, Featured, St. Louis County, STL Region 70 Comments
The Edward Jones Dome at Broadway & Cole in downtown St. Louis

This past weekend you no doubt saw video of the Minnesota Vikings’ 1982 Metrodome roof being deflated to make way for a replacement stadium. This got me thinking about our own St. Louis Rams and the Edward Jones Dome. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC) rejected the last Rams proposal, then lost in arbitration:

By declining to carry out that proposal, the commission granted the Rams stadium free agency starting in 2015.

Owner Stan Kroenke has the leverage to start negotiating a new stadium deal here or elsewhere. The Rams could operate amid uncertainty for years to come. (stltoday)

I have no doubt in my mind that Kroenke will opt out of the lease and begin trying to fund a build a new home for the team. He’ll extend his hand locally to see if it gets filled with money, or gets slapped down. He’ll threaten to relocate if we don’t help fund the new stadium, standard operating procedure in the NFL:

In Minnesota, the Vikings wanted a new stadium, and were vaguely threatening to decamp to another state if they didn’t get it. The Minnesota legislature, facing a $1.1 billion budget deficit, extracted $506 million from taxpayers as a gift to the team, covering roughly half the cost of the new facility. Some legislators argued that the Vikings should reveal their finances: privately held, the team is not required to disclose operating data, despite the public subsidies it receives. In the end, the Minnesota legislature folded, giving away public money without the Vikings’ disclosing information in return. The team’s principal owner, Zygmunt Wilf, had a 2011 net worth estimated at $322 million; with the new stadium deal, the Vikings’ value rose about $200 million, by Forbes’s estimate, further enriching Wilf and his family. They will make a token annual payment of $13 million to use the stadium, keeping the lion’s share of all NFL ticket, concession, parking, and, most important, television revenues. (How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers)

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: if we continue to have an NFL team, a new stadium should be in a more spacious area.  One site continues to come to mind:

The site of the former Chrysler plant in Fenton MO (St. Louis County) is big enough
The 280+ acre site of the former Chrysler plant in Fenton MO (St. Louis County) is big enough, well located

In fact, a new stadium would only need part of the site.

The biggest thing after funding any project is where you are going to place your new giant building. Every city has ideal sites for these over-65-acre—or three million square feet—stadiums.

There is no correct answer for the best place to put one of these bad boys. Honestly, it’s easiest to work with the city and figure out the most cost-effective site. Using Dallas as an example, they went through three different municipalities before they finally decided on a site in Arlington.

The idea behind picking a site is making sure it will be big enough for a new stadium. That means over 80 acres of undisturbed and non-requisitioned land—meaning no wetlands, no rivers, no easements, and no eminent domain issues.

The Cowboys decided on a site that is in that 80-acre range, and they finally got their stadium finished after over a decade of issues. They likely had to fight easements and eminent domain issues while they created the site.

Sometimes roads even have to be moved in the middle of a city and, in some cases, historic landmarks may be threatened. It’s definitely an issue the Falcons are facing with their site selection, as they may have to buy out a pair of churches that have been in Atlanta for years. (Designing the Perfect NFL Stadium)

With 280 acres available there’d be plenty of room for hotels, restaurants, retail, etc to be constructed. Being adjacent to I-44 these other businesses could hopefully survive off-season. I think local taxpayers will end up paying part of the cost of a new stadium, I just hope our leaders don’t get taken to the cleaners.

I see the Rams playing at the Edward Jones Dome through at least the 2018 season.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "70 comments" on this Article:

  1. guest says:

    They should orient the stadium, the hotels, and the restaurants to have great views of the Meramec River. Really make a Show-Me Missouri Experience out of the whole thing. I mean, after all, if the state’s gonna pay for it, let’s give ’em the Missouri treatment. Catfishing competition, float trips, beer kegs, etc.

  2. Mark says:

    This would be great as long as the area has sufficient parking to accommodate all of the fans who will be driving in and driving out after the game, contributing virtually nothing to the local economy. If you want to be a national player and contribute to the success of your states largest asset which is the city of St. Louis, which everything else literally revolves around than you place your stadium in the heart of the city. If you just want to contribute to more unsustainable urban sprawl than you do something stupid like this and ask tax payers to fund a sports stadium that contribute little if anything to the local economy and is essentially a gift horse to the teams owners. To see what failure looks like you only have to go as far as Kansas City where both the baseball and football stadiums contribute nothing to the growth and health of the downtown.

    • We’ve had the current dome downtown for 20 years now. It’s too big, many streets were closed off. Not much parking for tailgating, etc. All for 8 home games per year.

      • Mark says:

        Actually, the dome holds other events throughout the year, not just eight football games. The RV show just went through to be followed by the auto show. the New Kids on the Block will be their next year, the robot competition fills the place every year for a week, not to mention other conventions that occur throughout the year. It is foolish to forget that a dome just for football which is what would happen in Fenton has no chance of working out. Granted the dome downtown should have been designed better but the intention is to have a venue that fulfills a certain cultural niche. Tailgating is fine but what good does it do for the local area when fans bring in their own food and drinks and tailgate before a game, other than create a mess and a traffic nightmare. A stadium is an investment in a city’s future and should not be built to facilitate the commute of a few fans from the suburbs, to do so just contributes to the decline of the entire area.

        • JZ71 says:

          One big problem with the dome is that it IS a multi-purpose facility, and it’s not very good at any one thing. It’s not a great football venue (that top 20% criteria) and it’s not a great convention center venue (you don’t need seats for the RV show). We’d be better off building a kick-ass, open-air football venue outside of downtown AND building a competitive convention center facility where the dome stands now.

          • Mark says:

            If the dome were just for football than it would not make any sense for taxpayers to invest and give what is essentially a gift to a private team owner. What is more important is to draw in people for conventions who will most likely stay in our hotels and eat in our restaurants providing much needed tax revenue. Other than a few fans who live in the suburbs, who is going to Fenton for a game or convention? If you were planning a convention would you consider Fenton, where these is no assess to public transportation from the airport and little to attract anyone in the surrounding area, no you wouldn’t. Likely your going to take your convention somewhere else. Are surrounding suburbs are out of their minds if they think that they really have anything to offer that would be of interest to people outside this area.

          • You seem to think the dome will suddenly disappear. It won’t, it’ll still be attached to America’s Center for conventions. The question is only where will the Rams play their 8 home games per year?

        • It’ll still be around for these other events. In fact the CVC will have more flexibility of scheduling other events if they don’t have to work around the 8 home games.
          The EJD isn’t big enough by current standards and there just isn’t 80 acres available downtown or anywhere in the city for a new stadium.

          • Mark says:

            Actually I believe that the city would be better off without the Rams, but I don’t believe that it is a good investment to build a new stadium for a privately held team out in the middle of nowhere. It doesn’t work in downtown its not going to work any better out in Fenton. Instead the tax payer will be stuck with a stadium that is under utilized the majority of the year while costing taxpayers money to maintain. the concept is iffy when you talk about a multiuse facility like the dome which is downtown. The Rams are not going to stay if you build them a stadium somewhere else, I would be surprised if they would even give such a proposal any consideration at all. And what about the huge vacant area North of the stadium?

          • I don’t think taxpayers should fund a stadium anywhere in the region. The Rams will certainly ask until they find somewhere willing. Kroenke is a developer — let him buy a big piece of land and develop a stadium.
            The land north of the EJD is just 17 acres, not even remotely close enough for a modern day NFL stadium.

  3. RyleyinSTL says:

    Downtown already has the hotels and restaurants (not to mention parking and good transit access). Seems pointless to build an entertainment complex, a 40 minute drive away, out in the slums of the future.

  4. DaveOfRichmond says:

    The Vikings have been in Minn since the start – which in their case was 1961 – and seem to have a deeply loyal fan base up there, i.e. they represent a significant cultural touch-point for a sizable portion of the population of Minnesota. The Rams, of course, moved to St Louis from LA in 1995. I’m sure there are serious Ram fans in St Louis, but I don’t get the feeling that the franchise is held as dearly as the Vikings are in Minn, or the Cowboys in Dallas, or the Eagles in Philly (etc).

    Am I wrong in thinking this? How big a deal would it be for the average person in St Louis metro to lose this franchise? Losing the (baseball) Cardinals would be a big deal (been there since the 1892 and have had great success for much if that time), but have the Rams really engendered that kind of psychologically attachment to a large number of people in the region?

    • JZ71 says:

      It all depends on how big a “fan” one may be. I don’t need to validate my existence, vicariously, through the winning and losing of professional athletes, so I don’t see a need to support any professional teams with our taxes. If fans want to buy tickets and show their “support”, fine, but I don’t see any professional sport as “a significant cultural touch-point”, and that includes baseball and hockey. And, no, team longevity has little to do with it – it probably has more to do with how long someone lives in or near an area (and “its” teams) than anything else, that childhood connection / nostalgia.

    • guest says:

      This is likely to be a big part of the rationale for not supporting a new stadium plan. I wonder the demographic of those not interested in keeping NFL football in STL? Losing the NFL drops STL to second-tier status. NFL football is the biggest sports attraction on the planet, giving a city world-wide media exposure.

      • JZ71 says:

        “Losing the NFL drops STL to second-tier status”?! Nope, losing population, corporate headquarters and a major airline hub does! Or, if you want to equate the NFL and excellence, how about the two teams that made it to this year’s super bowl, what do they both have in common? They both come from states that have legalized recreational marijuana use – maybe that’s what we need to do!

        • Eric3555 says:

          “Nope, losing population, corporate headquarters and a major airline hub does!”

          And that leads to NFL teams leaving.

          Small markets like St Louis need to publicly fund stadiums or risk their team leaving for a city that will fund a stadium.

          No team is willing to leave a large market, so those cities can get away with not offering funding (for example: MetLife Stadium outside NYC had no public funding).

          The 40 or so largest cities would do well to get together and sign an agreement saying “we pledge not to use any public funds/taxes for any future stadium” to eliminate this problem.

          • Fozzie says:

            The metro area is the 21st largest media market in the country. Other than LA, which experts deem far-fetched, where would t he Rams go?

            Your’re nuts if you think the NFL leaving is more harmful than any of the things JZ describes.

          • Eric3555 says:

            “Your’re nuts if you think the NFL leaving is more harmful than any of the things JZ describes.”

            I don’t think that. But I would still wouldn’t be happy if the Rams left.

          • moe says:

            The Rams predecessor, the Cardinals, left St. Louis when St. Louis had both more population and more corporate headquarters.

      • Andy says:

        The NFL is indeed the top dog of American pro sports right now, but taking the long view that position is tenuous at best. People are waking up to the extreme and unnecessary dangers of the sport, which will lead to fewer children playing today and fewer adults playing tomorrow.

    • Andy says:

      This is purely anecdotal but as a 36 year old white male who was born and raised in the STL metro I know exactly zero people I would consider to be “passionate” Rams fans. It seems to me that most people don’t care at all.

    • As we know not every proposal happens.

      • JZ71 says:

        And you know my proposal would be to put a new stadium on the east side, just north of the Casino Queen, between the Eads and the MLK bridges. It would have good highway access, a great view of the St. Louis skyline and it’s right next to Metrolink. Yes, you’d probably need to secure the parking lot with armed guards to convince suburbanites that it would be safe to park and tailgate there, but it would be both a better location than in Fenton and it could actually serve as an economic catalyst for East St. Louis.

        • I have no problem with it on the Illinois side, but it won’t fit between the two bridges. Even if you wedged a stadium in there the NFL would require both bridges & access roads to be shut down during games.

          • Guest532 says:

            the eastside IS where the stadium needs to go BUT between eads and poplar. I’d argue nobody’s sentimental about the Gateway Geyser. Building another grain elevator costs no more than 2 million dollars. The Malcolm Memorial Park is small enough to stay. The most difficult thing I suspect would be the amtrak lines but even with them being there, there’s still 250+ acres for a stadium and parking.
            If the eastside were Missouri territory, there’d already be a stadium there. It’s perfect.

            Fenton is a great site but Kroenke wants to host a Super Bowl, Downtown would want that business. I’m not sure Fenton gets us a Super Bowl. There’s also talk of moving the Super Bowl to Saturdays, which could make it even more of a party-event ($$$).

          • Guest532 says:

            Sorry, a quick google search shows a new grain elevator would cost around 11 million dollars…Still not a lot of money to clear the land between Eads and Poplar.

          • JZ71 says:

            Ever been to the Meadowlands?! About the same as Fenton: http://goo.gl/maps/QplAx

          • Eric3555 says:

            Meadowlands is sort of like Fenton (but closer to the city).

            But no place in NY/NJ is like East St Louis. All places that are as close to NYC as East St Louis is to St Louis are ridiculously expensive.

          • “If the eastside were Missouri territory, there’d already be a stadium there. It’s perfect.”

            That’s the rub, isn’t it? MO wouldn’t allow it because Illinois gets all (or most) of the revenue. Kroenke could technically work with Illinois first and then tell Missouri to get on board, but not the other way around.

            In my wildest dreams for St. Louis, I’d like to see the City annex the east side (at least out to 20th, but I imagine it’d be a full package deal…:) ), but I foresee a herculean push-back from all affected sides (I can just imagine the poor state representative who recommends taking in the crime-ridden and nationally-notorious east side!). How’s that for STL crime rankings!

            After 2015, there’s really nothing stopping Illinois from telling Kroenke he could do it and finagling the space to make it happen. He’d want St. Louis on board, of course (because East St. Louis Rams just doesn’t have the same ring to it), but it’s not a requirement. I’m very curious though if Illinois even cares to see East St. Louis rise to some level of respectability though. In the national dialogue ESTL is St. Louis, for all intents. Its present state hurts St. Louis more than Illinois, so as a state competing for jobs, would Illinois favor improving the national opinion of St. Louis?

            (I still believe, by the way, that most of Illinois’ “down south” investment — high-speed rail, bridges, etc. – is in the interest of pulling people and businesses from Missouri, not in the spirit of partnership and mutual growth. #tinfoilhat)

        • Phil says:

          I would put the new stadium north of the MLK bridge. There is plenty of room for a stadium, parking, and anything else that would need to be built, and you can have access from both bridges. Out in Fenton you only have 2 ways in to the area, at least with the EJ Dome, you could hit 64, 70, city streets, etc.

  5. ChadyzGroove says:

    I still think Collinsville would be a great site for the new stadium. Where the planned MLS soccer stadium was going to be. With the new bridge it will be easy for Missourians to get over, but also you have the intersection of 55/70 & 255 right there. The stadium could be built for mixed use like Seattle’s stadium so it get’s used more often. I’m thinking a primary NFL/MLS stadium, but also since SIUE is a Division 1 school now they could use the stadium as well as it is not far from campus.

    • Sounds like a very good option, maybe Madison County would finally built a MetroLink extension.

    • Mark says:

      Collinsville? Are you serious? Why would anyone in their right minds ever what to go to Collinsville unless they were forced to. It amazes me that communities like Collinsville and St. Charles who have for all practical purposes removed themselves from interacting with surrounding communities in any meaningful positive way, whose choices have led to urban sprawl and unsustainable growth while contributing to a weakening of the St. Louis core without any regard to contributing to the cultural good of the area, think that they would be a great site for a stadium. particularly when this has already been tried in St. Charles and failed. Please…

      • Mark says:

        Makes me wonder why IKEA didn’t pick Collinsville or Fenton for the location of their St. Louis area store.

      • ChadyzGroove says:

        I would love for the new stadium to be in the city, but I don’t see it happening. Also I don’t think most of the Bud Light drinking tailgaters care too much about culture to begin with. I just think the new stadium needs something so that it gets used more than 8-10 days a year.

      • moe says:

        If we want to build in a place where people in certain surrounding communities only want to come in to use and not support, we plop the damn thing down in the middle of Forest Park. There are plenty of institutions there that are visited, but not supported. And there’s even 1 or 2 institutions mis-managed just like the Rams.

    • Andy says:

      In general, it seems that the majority of people on the Missouri side of the STL metro find the idea of going to the Metro East for anything to be pretty far-fetched.

      • Eric3555 says:

        Except strip clubs. That was pretty common when I was in high school. Or at least it was common to boast about having gone.

  6. brian says:

    The only way building a new NFL stadium with public money makes some sense is if it is a multipurpose dome like Dallas or Indy where you can get a Super Bowl and Final Fours.

    • Eric3555 says:

      8 games a year isn’t enough to justify a stadium, but a 9th game once a decade makes it worth it?

      • brian says:

        Not just one extra game. You would be in a regular rotation for Final Fours, Regional Finals, Women’s Final Four, SEC Champinship football game, SEC championship basketball tournament, possibly a college football championship game, special event college football games (ie Notre Dame), big time college basketball double headers, and big time international soccer games. Events that actually bring people into town to spend money over multiple days instead of people from the area spending money they would spend somewhere else in the area if they were not going to watch the local football team.

  7. nten says:

    The former Chrysler plant location is likely off the table. There is a planned office park going in at the site. I believe they are starting site work this year sometime.

    • An office park has been proposed, but the land is still being marketed for sale.

      • Todd Spangler says:

        I have past connections to the Minneapolis area and have followed the Metrodome replacement issue for some years. There was an alternative and fairly well fleshed out plan to build a new suburban stadium a little north of Minneapolis/St. Paul, but it ultimately failed due to insufficient political support amongst local and state political leaders. To many, it also seemed a step backward, as there has been a general trend over the last 30 years or so towards placing major sports stadiums back into downtown areas rather than in the suburbs. The Metrodome itself replaced a suburban stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota where the Mall of America now stands, and the Detroit Lions also now play in a stadium in downtown Detroit, replacing the Silverdome that had been built in the mid 70’s in suburban Pontiac. It’s true that the Dallas Cowboys new stadium is in the suburbs, but so was their previous home Texas Stadium, which opened in 1971 in Irving, Texas.
        It is also worth noting that the Dallas/Fort Worth situation is somewhat unique because of the two urban centers and absolutely massive area of surrounding sprawl. Minneapolis/St. Paul might almost be regarded as a miniature version, but located as it is in Minnesota with its somewhat different culture and sensibilities from those of Texas, there was a strong desire to retain the central location in the urban center with better access by light rail and other existing infrastructure. While the Vikings were in favor of the suburban location for some time, ultimately, they bowed to the reality of the political situation and accepted the proposal to replace the Metrodome with what certainly appears will be a spectacular new facility.
        I look at St. Louis and recognize that some portion of the Rams fanbase likely lives in South and West County and might appreciate a stadium nearby off of I-44; however, there was a similar wealthy suburban demographic in metro Detroit also, but the new stadium still wind up being located in the midst of the decrepit city of Detroit itself. In the case of the Rams, I currently do not see a strong desire on the part of state and local leaders to put their political careers in jeopardy and spend a zillion dollars (actually something more like $1 billion) on a new stadium for the Rams when taxpayers are still on the hook for $24 million/year for a number of years yet to service the debt on the existing stadium. As things stand currently, it would appear more likely that the Rams will eventually come to an agreement with leaders in some other city or metro area, probably Los Angeles, to relocate to a new venue in that city. It is also true that some other NFL team playing in an older stadium with an exit clause similar to the Rams’, such as the Raiders, could come to an agreement to relocate to LA first and deprive the Rams of the opportunity to do so. The Vikings were also a candidate to move to LA before extorting a new stadium from the weak-kneed and foolish (IMO) politicians in Minnesota. I sense less attachment to the Rams in St. Louis then was the case for the Vikings in Minnesota, however, and if I had to bet, I would put my money on the Rams eventually leaving.

        • Thanks for the thoughts. Remember each downtown is unique, ours doesn’t have a space large enough. The Rams proposal the CVC rejected called for the permanent closure of Broadway — a very destructive idea.

          • JZ71 says:

            Define “downtown” and “a space large enough”. I’d wager both the Bottle District and McKee’s development could work. And where there’s a will, there’s a way – when Denver decided to expand their convention center, a 12-story office building was purchased and demolished (to get it out of the way). A chunk of downtown, here, was demolished to build the arch. I agree that destroying the existing street grid is not a great idea, but don’t assume that it won’t ever happen!

          • The bottle district site is only 17 acres, the Pruitt-Igoe site is something like 50+ with two schools on the edge. There isn’t an 80 acre site in the city.

          • brian says:

            You don’t need 80 acres to build the a new football stadium. Lucas Oil Stadium project site was 39 acres in downtown Indianapolis.

        • Eric3555 says:

          On the other hand, the Atlanta Braves have an urban stadium now. But they are about to leave it for a new stadium in the northern suburbs, apparently because the rich white people who form their core fan base live there.

  8. JZ71 says:

    We don’t need to focus solely on Fenton for large, suburban locations. Other options include the old Ford plant site in Hazelwood (I-270 & Lindbergh), the bottom lands around Creve Coeur Lake (south of the Hollywood Casino, that’s now more accessible with 141 being completed), the area near the Gateway Grizzlies baseball stadium and the areas near Gateway Motorsports Park, to name just a few. The real question, to repeat (and support) Steve’s point, is whether it makes any sense to dedicate several blocks of urban land for a facility that gets fully used less than a dozen days a year?! I agree with Steve – if we want an urban CITY, moving the current NFL operation out of downtown makes a lot more sense than trying to accomodate a bigger facility on or near the current site.

  9. Andy says:

    Honestly, I would rather the Rams pack up and move out of STL. I believe that various studies have shown that all told NFL teams don’t have the positive economic impact that perceptions says they do. They are certainly not worth the hang-wringing BS/threats of movement that seem to be part and parcel of the modern game. If the Rams do stay in the area then Fenton is the perfect place for their stadium. Couple that with moving the Blues to South County (so they can be nearer to their fanbase) and I’ll be a happy camper.

    • Eric3555 says:

      Not everything is about economic impact. Why do we prefer shopping on an urban street to a strip mall? It’s not because of the better prices or selection or site access. It’s because of the atmosphere and feeling that you are part of something. The same is true of sports. Some people don’t care for sports, while others don’t care for urbanism. But for many others, it’s a very significant source of pleasure and worth working to keep (although not worth spending gigantic amounts of public money on).

      • JZ71 says:

        IF “we prefer shopping on an urban street [instead of] a strip mall”, why are strip malls the preferred (based on sales), successful (based on sales) option for most retailers?! Urbanism is the preference of only a minority of shoppers (based on sales). Retailers, especially chain retailers, locate and build based on research and results, not emotion. They can’t afford to be wrong. Look at Steve’s post from Monday, on MLK Drive, where JC Penney left years ago and Family Dollar couldn’t make it, in this decade, on an urban street. Saying and doing are two different things. Money talks, and if retailers can make money on urban streets, they’ll locate there; if they can’t they’ll locate where they CAN make money, period. It has very little to do with “the atmospheres and feeling that you are part of something”, it’s all about being profitable!

        That said, I agree with your last sentence. What turns your crank and makes you happy is likely different from what makes me happy. Do we need to / should we use public funds to subsidize everyone’s “pleasures”? Or, are these discretionary luxury items, things that the lovers of football, chess, polo, baseball, disc golf and BDSM should be paying for individually? I’ve said it before, I don’t blame a professional team or a private developer for asking for public “assistance”, especially based on past successes with asking. I DO blame elected officials for agreeing to these subsidies. Subsidies come from taxes being diverted from other, more basic government functions, usually from existing taxpayers, who usually gain little, if anything, from their “contributions” to another taxpayer’s bottom line!

        • Eric3555 says:

          I would suspect that most people do prefer shopping on an urban street if the prices/convenience are the same. It’s usually hard to achieve that, so people end up shopping at a strip mall/big box where things are cheaper. Which explains your sales statistics. At the same time, a minority of urbanists will insist on shopping/socializing in an urban location even if prices are higher.

          I have a certain dislike for spending taxpayer money on a stadium. But as long as we are also spending public money on things like streetcars, or even parks, it is hard to argue that subsidizing some people’s pleasures is illegitimate. Overall, the distribution of taxpayer dollars must be relatively fair. But the constituency for pro sports is probably bigger than the constituency for streetcars, so I’d think the former deserves at least as much money.

          (And stadium subsidies benefit rich team owners, which is distasteful – but streetcar subsidies benefit rich construction contractors and real estate developers. It’s the same thing, just less visible.)

          • JZ71 says:

            I’d argue that prices are similar but the convenient parking (and drive-thru’s) that strip malls and suburban-scale retail offer is why a lot of (most?) people choose to do their shopping there. Why is Walgreens closing stores that lack drive-thru’s and replacing them with new structures that have them (Hampton Village, Olivette)?

            As for subsidies and your example of a streetcar line – pro sports is going to happen with or without public subsidies, a streetcar line won’t. The only difference subsidies encourage is where the facility may be built and where the game is played. In these days of flat screens, many “fans” rarely, if ever, attend a game in person, so whether the Tennessee Titans play in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga or Johnson City really doesn’t matter. We have people in St. Louis who are “fans” the Rams, the football Cardinals, the Cowboys and the Chiefs. We have people in St. Louis who follow the NBA and we don’t have any nearby team to claim as “ours”.

            We have a football stadium with many years of bonded indebtedness yet to be paid, and while it’s functional and safe, it’s not “good enough”. The Cubs, the Red Sox and the Packers all play in decrepit, old stadiums yet still continue to attract large crowds. As long as we, as taxpayers and a nation, continue to genuflect before the gods of pro sports, we’re going to continue to be extorted to pay multi-million dollar player contracts and to provide party suites for the one-per-centers! If we could all grow a pair and just say no to these asinine “demands”, no one is going to starve and no one is going to be deprived of their “entertainment”; the only “downside is that a few sports agents are going to have to wait another month to buy that new Ferrari!!!!

          • Most of the US population lives in suburbia where strip malls, indoor malls, big boxes, etc. are the norm. It’s only logical these model have the hugest sales.
            I guarantee you if these same people travel to other US/European cities they stick to the charming urban streets, not the suburban models they endure at home.

          • JZ71 says:

            You guarantee?! In those big US vacation destinations like Orlando, Las Vegas and Los Angeles? That they “endure” or that they choose? You live in the city yet you do your fair share of your shopping in the suburbs (Trader Joe’s, Target, IKEA, etc.). You can argue that those stores “don’t have locations in the city” and you would be correct. But what they’re selling, in similar, if not identical form, IS available in the city. Money talks. And if tourists “stick to the charming urban streets”, explain why Laclede’s Landing and downtown retail continues to struggle next to our biggest tourist destinations, the Arch, the convention center and our professional sports venues?!

            When I say “based on sales”, I’m using the standard retail metric of sales per square foot. Yes, four suburban Macy’s should be selling four times as much stuff as a single urban Macy’s. The reason Macy’s closed downtown is that it, at the end of its life, was selling only a fraction of what any one suburban Macy’s was selling – the dwindling number customers who walked in the doors were not spending enough money to keep the doors open. The reason Starbucks closed in Soulard was that sales failed to meet expectations, even with a suburban model. Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Rodeo Drive in LA and the Country Club District in KC are all examples of successful retail in an urban environment. Their success has less to do with architecture and more to do with shopper demand and ongoing marketing efforts – there’s a critical mass of, and a perceived quality retail environment, that attracts many customers who could care less about most traditional streetcar corridors.

          • People don’t go to the Chicago area to visit the Oak Brook Mall, though I’ve been there. They go to shop on Michigan Ave, been there more often.

          • Most people also eat at national chain restaurants but that doesn’t mean they prefer it. It’s what’s close to them, what they’re familiar with. But I know plenty of people from the suburbs who come into the center for a break from the chain restaurants all around them.

          • JZ71 says:

            Yes, individual local restaurants do succeed in urban situations where many other retail uses don’t. In restaurants, the products are typically consumed on site, so carrying one’s purchases back to the car is less of an issue than if one is shopping for groceries, office supplies or furniture. But whether someone “prefers” local and unique versus a national chain has less to do with proximity and more to do with the menu.

          • wump says:

            never a starbucks in soulard. they built a suburban one in kosciusko, across the strett, that must be what you mean, it may have succeeded as an urban store in soulard (like subway is building right now).

  10. Sean McElligott says:

    I would just let the Rams move to back LA. Then use all the taxpayer money for the new stadium to raze the dome and America’s center and build a new world class convention center. Then rebuild and reopen the street grid that the dome destroyed and zone for hotels,residential, and mixed used buildings.

  11. Michaela Daniels says:

    as long as the fans and citites are willing to bend over and hike their skirts to keep a professional sports team, the taxpayers will continue to take it up the ____ without lube

  12. Archer Seating says:

    FYI: If you purchased the seats for these, you should have been referred to Archer Seating for the chair stand brackets. They’ll fit any style you were sold and we’ve already been shipping them daily for months

    • dempster holland says:

      no one mentioned the alternative that Jacksonville may be willing to relocate to St Louis
      without a subsidy. And the downtown location is the only place fed by six interstates and
      three light rail routes–nowhere else in the region comes close to duplicating that


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