JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon proposed his plans to prepare a north riverfront site of downtown St. Louis for a new NFL stadium. The proposal calls for a 64,000-seat stadium on at least a 90-acre site.
Nixon explained to reporters that without the NFL in Missouri, the state loses millions in income tax. Both Ameren and the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) have agreed to move infrastructure — rail lines and electrical lines — to accommodate construction of the stadium. However, the moves will not be cheap. The movement of electric lines will cost about $20 million, and the railroads will cost about $3 million. Nixon said he is committed to protecting taxpayers, and is expecting the financial responsibility to fall on the NFL.
“Today, we’re announcing a number of concrete steps that, when the final financing plan comes together, will position this area for redevelopment, and bring new excitement, energy and activity to the St. Louis Riverfront, and the entire state,” said Nixon.
In addition to a promise not to move for new taxes for Missourians, Nixon described several criteria that the stadium must meet. He said the project needs to provide good-paying jobs for Missourians, maximize economic value of the already existing Edward Jones Dome and it must result in the revamping of a devastated area of St. Louis. Finally the stadium must be a public asset, owned by the people.
“This is a historic opportunity to bring hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment to this area, build an iconic stadium that will stand the test of time, and transform these deserted streets into a thriving destination for residents, workers, tourists and football fans,” said Nixon.
Ameren will have to move two existing transmission towers and power lines in the area, which will result in construction of new towers on opposite sides of the river as well as installation of additional single poles to carry the lines to the substation. TRRA will have to relocate tracks west to accommodate the stadium. These relocation steps will not happen until a solid financial plan is in place.
“This project will have immense and lasting benefits not only for the north St. Louis riverfront, but also for the entire region and state – and we’re pleased to be able to help make it a reality,” said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren. “This effort builds on Ameren’s long tradition of corporate citizenship and our continued efforts to create a stronger, more prosperous region.”
Nixon said he has yet to speak to Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, but he has been having “productive” conversations with NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell.
“While many more pieces have to come into place, we’re making solid progress, and I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the leaders here today who are united in a common purpose of making sure St. Louis remains an NFL city now and for years to come,” said Nixon.
Nixon’s announcement comes as the state scrambles to offer a stadium plan to the Rams and the NFL. Historically, no NFL team has ever moved out of a city when the city made a concrete proposal for a newer, pricier venue.