ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The St. Louis Board of Aldermen votes 17-10 to approve a funding plan for a new NFL stadium — despite last minute warnings and several arrests.
There was bedlam briefly as police arrested six protestors for singing Christmas carols in the balcony. Alderwoman Sharon Tyus compared the city’s longing for the Rams to stay to a one-sided romance.
“If this was your daughter or your son chasing after someone and they were doing this, you would all be so embarrassed and ashamed of them,” Tyus says. “You would be sitting them down in the corner telling them, ‘Don’t run after people like this.'”
The city’s comptroller Darlene Green also made a rare appearance on the floor of the board. Green warned aldermen that the deal is “not financially responsible.”
“The bill before them is not fiscally responsible, because it does not put a cap on how much cash will go out of the city’s budget,” Green says.
Alderman Scott Ogilvie also warned that the city could be on the hook for millions every year in stadium upkeep.
“We have a different relationship with residents and votes and quite frankly different responsibility which is to say, “Is this a good idea, not can it be done, but is it the right thing to do?” Ogilvie says.
The St. Louis NFL Stadium Task Force has released a statement on the approval of city funding:
“Today’s vote of approval represents a significant milestone in the effort to see our NFL stadium and riverfront renewal project come to life and, in doing so, keep the St. Louis Rams here in St. Louis.
We commend Mayor Francis Slay, President Lewis Reed and the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen for their vision, leadership and commitment. That’s what it takes to make a city everything it can and should be for its residents, businesses and visitors. St. Louis answered that call today.
We now have more work to do to prepare our St. Louis stadium proposal for delivery ahead of the NFL’s deadline of December 30. We recognize that our proposal will require extensive review before it is considered for approval by the NFL. We are confident that it will be well received.”
KMOX’s Kevin Killeen was at St. Louis City Hall tweeting live from the meeting:
Teams interested in relocating or building a new stadium have until Dec. 28 to submit a final proposal to keep their teams. A pivotal vote on the issue is set for Jan. 12-13 in Houston. Twenty-four of the league’s 32 owners have to approve any team’s relocation.
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke favors a multi-purpose stadium in Inglewood, California, to be shared with another team. The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers have a joint project in mind for nearby Carson. Kroenke also is willing to share his proposed stadium with either the Chargers or Raiders.
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