I thought this little bit of St. Louis ongoing news would be of interest to folks here.
In 1995, the City and County of St. Louis built a great big new football palace, in order to lure a football team, and its job-producing revenues, to come to town. One of the worst teams in the country, a much maligned Los Angeles team took the bate.
They signed a lease that had some interesting details in it.
1) That revenues from PSL--Personal Seat Licenses would be split. This meant that besides buying tickets, customers could lease the seats they were sitting in. The only benefit of the lease was to guarantee that you could buy season tickets. These went for a lot of money, and were transferable and inheritable.
2) The Rams would play at least 8 home games every season in St. Louis.
3) That after 20 years, if the stadium was not in the top 5% of all stadiums in the US, the Rams could leave.
This year the Rams had, for the third year in a row, a truly awful season. Fan support is very low. I'd say it was as low as it was in Los Angeles just before the move.
A survey of NFL Stadiums finds the Edward Jones dome, where the Rams play, to be nearer the bottom of the list than the top.
Expecting this, the St. Louis Convention and Visitor's Bureau, which owns the dome, is considering options to improve it. There is 0 interest in publicly funded multi-Billion dollar new stadium, which is what it would take to be a top tier stadium.
Negotiations are ongoing.
Then, last December the St. Louis Rams announced that they would play 1 of their home games in England for the next 3 seasons.
That is the 3 seasons they have left before that 20 year clause is hit.
For weeks nobody complained, until a newspaper noted that "If they play in London, they are not playing in St. Louis. They are breaking their lease."
It was then that the PSL owners realized that their PSL's lost about 12% of their value.
The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Bureau made protests and got the attention of the NFL.
The NFL said, "This will be handled. The Rams will solve this, or some one else will be playing in London." and they quit selling tickets to the London game.
The Saturday before the Super Bowl, the St. Louis Rams announced an agreement had been reached.
The NFL Rejoiced, and after the game, announced that ticket sales were back on.
Monday morning the people at the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Bureau got to work and said, "Um, guys? We didn't make any agreement. They haven't even talked to us yet."
For two weeks, the only other word that has come out is that, "negotiations are in progress."
Meanwhile, the Rams are looking over the multi-million dollar upgrade that the Convention Center is proposing. They have until 3/1 to agree to it, or not. Then they have until December to propose their own.
Don't you all just love sports politics?
Posts: 1941 | Registered: Feb 2003
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Taxpayer dollars being spent on stadiums while so many social programs and infrastructural concerns remain decaying and maligned in this country just comes off as incredibly insipid.
It's also ironic when it comes paired with the common american tax allergy/small government syndrome, because building GIANT BLASTED STADIUMS with taxpayer money to lure and kickstart revenue in a city is something that in most any other realm is considered big government big taxes socialist engineering. I guess some of those get around that just by not paying extra taxes for it and then just accruing debt and scalping off of more vital programs instead.
Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005
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