ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Kiel Center Partners (KCP) on Tuesday filed a writ of mandamus, demanding that the city of St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green immediately execute and deliver the financing agreement to fund Scottrade Center renovations.
Statement from Kiel Center Partners:
“It is unacceptable that, though the Financing Agreement was duly approved by the Board of Aldermen and Mayor six months ago, the Comptroller of the City of St. Louis refuses to fulfill her lawful obligation and sign the Scottrade Center Financing Agreement. The delay has now reached the point where we have no alternative but to seek a legal remedy. Filing a lawsuit was the last thing we wanted to do, but we do so today with no reservations and an absolute determination to see the Agreement executed by the Comptroller after it was passed by the Board of Aldermen and signed into law by the Mayor of St. Louis. The Comptroller’s views have been expressed and heard, but the Office of the Comptroller simply does not have the authority to veto bills passed into law by the Board of Aldermen and the Mayor. This is an essential project for St. Louis. However, without the promised financing, the completion of this work and our ability to keep and pursue major events that are critical to jobs and our economy is severely at risk.”
Alderwoman Cara Spencer filed a lawsuit last week, saying the city violated the Missouri Constitution when it agreed to use public money on a for-profit business.
“The state constitution is very clear,” Spencer said. “We cannot use taxpayer money to fund private investment, and that’s exactly what we’re doing here.”
In February, the Board of Aldermen approved a plan that would obligate taxpayers to pay off $105 million in bonds over 30 years to pay for repairs and a modern score board at Scottrade Center. The renovation process began after the St. Louis Blues‘ 2016-17 season, and other events had concluded, in June.
KCP warns in its news release that St. Louis will be passed over for other cities in the Midwest when the city does “compete for events and programming against newer and more advanced arenas throughout the Midwest.”
The lawsuit seeks to cut off public funding for the Scottrade Center renovation.