Court case heard, no decision given on public bond money for St. Louis stadium
The one major financial hurdle outstanding regarding the St. Louis stadium proposal has been extending the bonds from the Edward Jones Dome to pay cover the gap on the nearly $1 billion cost outlay. Those bonds have been previously cited to cover anywhere from a quarter of a billion dollars of the costs up to $400 million. Yesterday, Circuit Court Judge Thomas Frawley heard arguments on whether or not those bonds would need to be subject to a public vote.
It isn't a clear-cut case either way.
On one front, the law does state that new public funding does have to be subjected to a public ballot. And it's a position the Post-Dispatch editorial board defended back in April. But it isn't necessarily clear if extending existing bonds would qualify as new funding. It's also relatively vague as to what constitutes public funds. As Frawley asked in the hearing, would using a fire truck to respond to a fire alarm constitute public funding assistance? Would the public therefore be required to vote over whether or not to provide the fire truck?
The other issue is location. The law that covered the Edward Jones Dome construction only covered "adjacent" properties to the convention center. The question is whether the stadium itself has to be adjacent or if the stadium complex suffices.
All in all, I'd guess this gets ruled on in favor of the new stadium task force and before August 11, when owners will hold a special meeting to go over the current plans. If that's the case, it puts things in a weird bind where the best situation for a new stadium in Los Angeles is Rams owner Stan Kroenke's plan while the best situation for a city of a possible Los Angeles tenet is the St. Louis plan.
Los Angeles Temporary Stadium Options Sought
Meanwhile, Los Angeles is all but certain to get a team in 2016. The league is looking at potential temporary homes for whichever franchise/s are headed to LA a year from now including sites such as the Rose Bowl or the Coliseum. It shouldn't take much looking into, but the key is working out the logisitics with the current collegiate tenants: UCLA for the Rose Bowl, USC at the Coliseum.
Meanwhile, the Carson/San Diego/Chargers issue is...well, messy.
Unlike the Rams, the Chargers are talking to their current home city. It's not going well. The mayor of San Diego, understandably, isn't taking it well.
A meeting in Carson on Monday night with the mayor was...well, messy.
Mayor Albert Robles and City Council members held, essentially, a pep rally MC'd by LA sports radio host Fred Roggin. Strangely enough, it was Roggin's presence that dissuaded Carmen Policy, who's heading up the Chargers & Raiders' interest in the Carson stadium plan, from even attending. Stranger still, the whizbang video that was going to wow attendees with flythroughs and all that jazz didn't get shown despite the mayor and Roggin promoting it.
So the whole thing, stadiums, cities, NFL franchises, mayors, freaking radio hosts is just...well, messy.