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Criticism of St. Louis' Riverfront Stadium Plans

A lesson for other cities as well: As long as cities give absurd subsidies to pro sports teams, pro sports teams will continue to expect absurd subsidies from cities. Case in point: St. Louis and the NFL's Rams.
February 12, 2015, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Joseph Stromberg excoriates the proposal by St. Louis city and state officials to build a 64,000-seat stadium in downtown, along the Mississippi River, to entice the NFL's Rams to stay.

Stromberg also notes that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced a deal "with a rail agency and utility company to move train tracks to accommodate the new stadium."

Preliminary cost estimates run between $860 and $985 million, "with half the money coming from public funds."

But here's the kicker, according to Stromberg: "The facts here are clear: building this stadium would be an absolutely terrible idea, even by the low standards of publicly-funded pro sports stadiums."

Here's Stromberg's laundry list of charges against the proposal: "The project would mean paying a huge subsidy to a very profitable business that provides minimal benefits to the public — at the same time the city continues to pay off the debt from building the old Rams stadium, completed in 1995. It would take away millions away from public programs, and give them to a man worth an estimated $5.8 billion. Last, it would devour a large parcel of vacant land downtown, right on the Mississippi waterfront, to be used just ten times per year."

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Published on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 in Vox
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