This my meager attempt to express my frustration about (my/our) tax dollars going towards a for-profit privately held entity in the form of a new football stadium. A few issues I have...
Why this entity? There are plenty of privately held companies, large and small, that provide value, economic and otherwise, to the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri. More so entities that may actually provide some cultural or educational value. I am not against professional football existing in St. Louis, I just do not understand why public tax dollars need to fund it. Yes, I am aware other large companies compete for tax incentives and financing deals, but I am against those as well. Entities exist to make money. Period. I for one, don't feel like lending my helping hand to Stan Kroenke and his estimated net worth of $6.3 billion.
Why can't Personal Seat Licenses cover what would otherwise be the public's share? Under current plans, $160 million is slated to come from PSLs. Why not let that also encompass the $201 million in bonds from the state and the city of St. Louis? It seems reasonable to be to have the people who really want to enjoy the stadium and a professional football league to be the ones to pay for it.
Top Tier Stadium? I find this requirement for their stadiums to be utter bullshit. If every team demanded this (with probably exclusion of the Green Bay Packers, since they are owned by the community of Green Bay), each would have power to threaten to relocate within the terms of the contract. It's not sustainable for cities, nor should it be something that they hamstring themselves with. And if teams can require stadiums to be top-tier, I think taxpayers should be able to require the teams to be top-tier as well. How about we require the Rams to finish in first or second place in the NFC each year, otherwise maybe they should pay a fine? By the way, Kroenke has done a masterful job with the timing of this plan. The state, city and county are still collectively paying $24 million per year through 2021. Loss aversion is a great tactic since we taxpayers are still on the hook for another $144 million of the current stadium.
Alternative destinations for $201 million? How about St. Louis city's public schools? Why not a Metro-link expansion? More funding to organizations that are helping companies relocate and stay in St. Louis? All of these options seem better to me than $201 million for an organization that is just going to do this again when we are approaching the end of the next contract.
I don't claim to have the answers, but want to make sure everyone is considering the questions.
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