A group of St. Louis business leaders recently had a tour of the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and according to the Post-Dispatch, they came away with a sense of just how important a new facility would be for the St. Louis Rams and the city itself. They also got a sense of just how monumental a task it will be for this to happen in St. Louis, requiring the support of lawmakers and the public who will likely have to pitch in a significant portion of the costs for a new stadium.
Indeed, it’s unclear at this point that there’s appetite, or money, for a new football stadium in St. Louis. But that’s something we need to figure out soon, said Kevin Cahill, a former member of the commission that built the Edward Jones Dome who’s on the RCGA trip.
The new stadium figures to be a major issue in Stan Kroenke's purchase of the Rams. Kroenke is a real estate developer with experience getting facilities built. Given his assets, he could probably pull together a small group of investors, including himself, to fund at least a portion of a new facility in St. Louis, which is no doubt one reason NFL owners will approve his takeover bid for the Rams. He's also a big contributor to the Missouri Republican party, which has pretty firm control over the state legislature; that could be helpful when it comes when it comes to getting some public money for a new stadium.
As you can see from the info about Lucas Oil Stadium in the link above, it's a little pricier at $1.1. billion than the Pepsi Center, Kroenke's venue in Colorado. The parallel between the two facilities is Kroenke's ability to expand the use of his Denver facility, including soccer and arena football on top of the usual convention center and conference events.
Of course, the Rams front office and the team on the field will have a lot to say about this matter too. If the rebuilding process begun by GM Billy Devaney continues as planned the Rams should be selling more tickets as people come to see a winning team.
Still months away from being approved as the Rams new owner - now all but certain given the endorsements he's received - Kroenke's arrival will mark a new chapter in the Rams stadium saga. Stay tuned.