St. Louis approves $150M for new stadium; Goodell not happy with plan
St. Louis approved a plan to help pay for its new stadium. However, the city isn't out of the woods yet because the NFL isn't happy with part of the plan.
The city of St. Louis took one step closer to getting an NFL stadium built when the city's Board of Aldermen voted Friday to approve $150 million in city funding for a proposed new stadium that would be built near the banks of the Mississippi River.
The only question now is: Who would play in the stadium if it actually got built?
Rams owner Stan Kroenke has given no indication that he wants to stay in St. Louis, even if the city does build a new stadium.
Kroenke's actions have made it clear that he wants to take his franchise to Los Angeles, and if he can't move to L.A., he might start to look at other cities like London, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora recently reported.
The biggest problem for St. Louis right now is that there's no guarantee the stadium is going to get built.
The plan that was approved Friday calls for the city to pitch in $150 million of the estimated $1.1 billion stadium cost. Another $550 million is supposed to come from the NFL and the Rams, with the team adding $250 million and the league kicking in $300 million. The state would pay for the rest of the stadium.
The problem with the plan that was approved by the city is that the NFL has made it clear that the city shouldn't be expecting $300 million in help from the league.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote a sternly worded letter to the St. Louis stadium task force Thursday saying that an NFL contribution of $300 million "is fundamentally inconsistent with the NFL's program of stadium financing."
Before Friday's vote, Goodell wanted to make sure the Aldermen knew that the NFL would only be good for $200 million, not the $300 million that was outlined in the plan. The NFL's G-4 program routinely finances up to $200 million for teams looking to build a new stadium.
In the letter, which was obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Goodell made it clear that the city would have "no assurance" of getting the extra $100 million in financing.
The chairman of the stadium task force, David Peacock, included the extra $100 million in the plan after having "direct conversations with key NFL owners," according to the Post-Dispatch. Still, Goodell says that Peacock shouldn't have included the extra money.
Despite all this, the city is still optimistic about getting a stadium built.
"Today's action by the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen is another step toward keeping the Rams in St. Louis, transforming the north riverfront with private investment, and creating jobs -- without raising taxes on Missourians," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said in a statement. "I thank the Board for moving forward to meet the NFL's Dec. 30 deadline and help secure St. Louis' position as a proud NFL city now and for years to come."
That Dec. 30 deadline is important because that's the city's deadline for getting a final stadium proposal into the NFL's hands. If the NFL likes the plan, then the owners would vote on whether or not to contribute the extra $100 million, with 24 out of 32 votes needed for approval.
The good news for St. Louis is that at least one NFL owner seems to believe the Rams will be staying put.
Texans owner Bob McNair said doesn't see the Rams getting approved for a move to L.A.
"St. Louis, they have come up with a proposal that is getting pretty close, in my opinion, to being an attractive proposal, and if they do come up with an attractive proposal, then in my view, my personal opinion, I don't think the Rams will receive the approval to relocate," McNair told the Houston Chronicle this week.
The NFL's 32 owners are set to meet in Houston on Jan. 12 and 13, where it's expected they'll vote on which team(s) will get approval to move to L.A. and which won't.
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