I am a huge supporter of the St. Louis Rams football team and want them to remain in St. Louis. Building a new stadium promises to create new jobs and boost minority participation in its construction, all of which I support. Unfortunately, the financing agreement for the new stadium is not fiscally responsible for taxpayers.
Currently the city of St. Louis pays $6M annually for debt service on Edward Jones Dome outstanding bonds. And, the city currently receives approximately $4M per year from game-day revenues to offset the current debt on the dome. The stadium financial agreement passed by the Board of Aldermen yesterday, falls short of delivering $4M dollars to the city to cover its anticipated future debt service payments.
The agreement does not guarantee that the city will keep any minimum game-day revenue, nor does the agreement cap any future outlays from the city to pay for the new stadium. Additionally, during my tenure as comptroller, the "right to audit" clause has become commonplace, yet it is not included in this agreement.
Until the stadium financing deal is made more fiscally responsible, I cannot support it, and therefore, cast a "no" vote for the funding package.
The Comptroller of the city of St. Louis is charged with protecting the credit of the city and with being a watchdog over taxpayer dollars.
Office of the Comptroller
Sports and Recreation