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Legal green light for new St. Louis stadium

NFLA new St. Louis stadium won’t be subject to a public vote, as a lawsuit challenging the proposed downtown NFL facility in several ways was turned aside by St. Louis Circuit Judge Tomas Frawley.

In the decision, he directly overturned a 2002 ordinance calling for a referendum on any proposed use of tax dollars for professional sports facilities, ruling it vague. He also clarified language in a state law requiring a new stadium be located “adjacent” to the city’s convention center, ruling that “adjacent” can mean located a few blocks away, rather than directly next to the convention center. In all, it was a victory for the state and local organizers working on a new stadium, and a defeat for those opposing the $1 billion facility. From AP:

Dave Peacock, a former Anheuser-Busch executive who is part of a two-person team leading a stadium task force appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon, called the ruling “a victory for a bold and promising future for the NFL in St. Louis” and the rebirth of downtown.

“As we continue to make excellent progress on the stadium project, this is a great time for everyone in the St. Louis region to rally on behalf of something that will make a difference in our economy, national profile and quality of life for generations to come,” Peacock said in a statement.

John Ammann, a Saint Louis University law professor who filed a separate suit that sought a city vote on the stadium plan, said it was “a terrible day for local democracy.”

A stadium task force appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon has proposed a waterfront stadium in downtown St. Louis to keep NFL football in the city. St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke has proposed a new Los Angeles stadium — and presumably would move the Rams back to LA — but St. Louis could potentially attract another NFL team (say, the Oakland Raiders) on the move.

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August Publications