JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Development Finance Board voted 11 to one Tuesday to approve $50 million in tax credits over the next three years in a last-ditch effort to keep the NFL in St. Louis, either by keeping the Rams in place or attracting a new team.
All of this happened while the Rams practiced in Oxnard, California, part of the Greater Los Angeles area. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke has threatened to move the team back to Los Angeles in recent years.
The win is another in a line of recent victories for Gov. Jay Nixon, who has been working for months to get a stadium plan. Two recent court rulings have also opened up the path for Nixon and Co. to build a stadium, including one ruling that stated the city did not need voter approval to spend taxpayer funds on the stadium.
The $50 million in tax credits approved by the board are only about a quarter of the $187 million the task force is hoping for, but for Dave Peacock, the head of Nixon’s task force to keep build a stadium in St. Louis, it’s progress toward funding a project that will cost just under $1 billion.
“The benefits of a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis are clear, not only to our metropolitan region but the entire state of Missouri as well,” Peacock said in a statement. “That was underlined today by the approval for $50 million in tax credits by the Missouri Development Finance Board. We appreciate the board’s support as we continue to make meaningful and measurable progress toward keeping the St. Louis Rams here in St. Louis.”
The lone “No” vote belonged to Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. Kinder stated in a release that “this proposal is moving forward without a single vote by a public body accountable to voters: Not the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, not the St. Louis County Council, not the Missouri General Assembly.”