Troubling Economic Trends In St. Louis Likely To Color Edward Jones Dome Debate

ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 12: A general view of the Edward Jones Dome prior to the NFL season opener between the Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 12 2010 in St. Louis Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)2

We have a long way to go before we can expect any kind of resolution between the St. Louis Rams and the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission on the renovation of the Edward Jones Dome. With a gap between the CVC's $124 million plan and the Rams' $700 million plan, the main issue in the matter is likely to revolve around how much public funding is available for renovating the Dome. Tuesday's report in the Post Dispatch of money leaking out St. Louis city and county certainly does not bode well for any tax revenue flowing into the Dome.

Between 2001 and 2010, more people left the city and county than moved into them. Those leaving earned an average of $8,000 more than those arriving. All told, it meant $3.41 billion in lost income in the county and $760 million in the city. Reflecting back to civics 101, that means less tax revenue.

Worth noting is that Rams owner Stan Kroenke, though not a resident of the city or county, was clear about his contribution to the local economy. At a January press conference introducing Jeff Fisher, Kroenke famously said:

"Contrary to what has been reported I haven't taken a lot of jack out of the market,. I have put a lot of jack into the market."

Maybe it's because the market's leaving?

You can look at potential Dome spending in one of two ways. Some economists have ripped the golden goose of stadium spending. Others will maintain that the facility is an investment in the city that will draw more business.

Either way, the economic fortunes of the city, county and state, both real and perceived, will be an important consideration in the debate over the future of the Edward Jones Dome and the Rams.

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