Two big stories dropped relating to the St. Louis-Los Angeles-San Diego menage a trois in the last 24 hours.
St. Louis Stadium Not To Receive County Funding Without Vote
As the developments regarding NFL football in Los Angeles have continued to pick up steam, one outstanding question regarding the St. Louis stadium proposal has never received a serious, comprehensive answer...
Who's actually going to pay for it?
While we haven't gotten any new information on that front, we did learn yesterday who's not going to pay for it from the P-D's David Hunn:
St. Louis County taxpayers will not be asked to support a new football stadium on the downtown riverfront — at least for now. That strips the plan of $6 million per year and raises questions about the viability of a financing scheme for the $985 million arena.
Stenger has long said he would not support county tax dollars being used for a new NFL stadium without a public vote. He said Nixon’s office did not talk about how stadium planners would make up the difference.
In and of itself, it's hard to disagree with the sentiment. Every year, the state of Missouri spends $12m buoyed by $6m a piece from St. Louis County and the city vault. That's a hell of a lot of public money for a stadium that (a) wasn't even keeping up with cost and (b) comes from the wallets of many people who aren't NFL fans let alone Rams fans. Asking them to take up another long-term investment in an organization that hasn't shown any commitment to the region or any vested interest in economic growth without a vote would be about as politically crass as local politics gets (and it gets reaaaaaaaaaaaaally crass (I'm being nice (it's all horrible))).
Still, it's a sign of how difficult it's going to be to get the most important aspect of the St. Louis proposal locked down. Dave Peacock, the public face of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's stadium task force, offered an immediate "calm down" statement:
We have studied numerous financing proposals over the past month and anticipate considering additional financing concepts in the weeks ahead. In short, just as the stadium design has evolved over the past several months and will continue to progress, so too will the process to determine the appropriate financing plan to bring this project to life. We continue to build excellent momentum but what remains the same is the positive impact a new riverfront stadium will have on our economy, in the creation of jobs and ensuring that St. Louis remains an NFL city, today and always.
And while the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, public communications 101 tells you that you don't have to say things you don't have to say:
That that needed (apparently) to be said should tell you how consequential this really is.
San Diego Councilman Unveils New Stadium Renderings
Meanwhile out in Weather Valhalla, California, City Councilman Scott Sherman held a press conference today with the required pictures of shiny new stadia (are there any other kind anymore?) along with former Charger (and Bolts from the Blue blogger Shawne Merriman...looking at you, former St. Louis Rams who have an itch to post something to TST...) and a host of local officiae on hand.
Make no mistake. This offering is in initial stages well behind the St. Louis and Los Angeles plans.
Sherman said plan includes park, restaurants, hotels,etx. Plan isn't final; meant to help CSAG with options. Said no cost to general fund.— Annie Heilbrunn (@annieheilbrunn) April 1, 2015
The proposal would upheave the Chargers' current home in Qualcomm Stadium with the new "village" on the existing site, so it's not a simple build it while they play situation.
Nonetheless, with money issues slagging the riverfront proposal and new pics catching the eyes out of San Diego, the momentum certainly has shifted away from the Lou in the last 24 hours.
We'll have to see if the next developments help swing the pendulum back towards St. Louis.