NFL

Rams Stiff St. Louis, Leave City with $144 Million Bill

Even though the NFL team has left, taxpayers are still on the hook for stadium debt payments.

|

St. Louis residents no longer have a football team, but that doesn't mean they will get to stop paying for one. While the Rams won a vote in mid-January to relocate to Los Angeles, St. Louis taxpayers will still be responsible for making $144 million in debt and maintenance payments for the Edward Jones Dome. 

Lewis Reed, the St. Louis Board of Alderman president, has asked the NFL for money to help pay off the debt, but he seems unaware of how the multi-billion dollar league operates. 

As Reason has reported in the past, stadium financing is one way the NFL holds cities hostage—either pay for a state-of-the-art facility or lose the prestige of having a professional football team. This has resulted in often lopsided stadium deals that leave cities (and their taxpayers) burdened with much of the debt. 

As Reuters points out:

Across the country, cities have gotten stuck with substantial costs after sports teams leave or even move across town. Often, local governments must pay bonds, maintenance costs, or demolition fees after a team is gone.

Houston's iconic Astrodome, once dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World, sits empty a decade after the facility housed 25,000 evacuees of Hurricane Katrina and nearly 20 years after the Oilers left. The Detroit Lions' former Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, was used sporadically after the team moved downtown in 2002, but shuttered for good when the inflatable roof was deflated.

St. Louis isn't the only city that regrets its deal with the NFL. Reason's Ed Krayewski wrote just a couple weeks ago that San Francisco residents are having buyer's remorse after realizing that their agreement with the NFL to host a Super Bowl in exchange for a new stadium in Santa Clara, CA resulted in a $5.3 million bill for early lease termination. So why would any smart city want the NFL? Reason TV explored this question in the video below. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

42 responses to “Rams Stiff St. Louis, Leave City with $144 Million Bill

  1. St. Louis seems like a very well-run city.

    1. Well, they are Chicago’s arch nemesis.

      1. That would be Green Bay, WI.

        1. That one arched way over your head.

  2. San Francisco residents are having buyer’s remorse after realizing that their agreement with the NFL to host a Super Bowl in exchange for a new stadium in Santa Clara CA resulted in a $5.3 million bill for early lease termination

    Not to mention some bad optics at “Super Bowl City”.

    Back to Cam Newton:

    And if Newton is saying that being black gives you an uncontrollable urge to be a jerk, he’s the one making unfortunate racial implications.

    1. Cam Newton has received so many opportunities in life because of his athletic prowess that it is unbelievably insulting for him or his father to play the race card.

      1. I think the bit about “humility” gets it right. Some people aren’t bothered by a lack of it at all, some people are. I am one of the latter.

        1. The irony is that Newton hardly needs to go out of his way to constantly remind us of how great he is. His play more than speaks for itself! Even his detractors acknowledge that he is an incredible athlete and player.

          1. I think the culture of the sport encourages that behavior. Plus he’s probably been told how great he is all his life.

          2. **Even his detractors acknowledge that he is an incredible athlete and player.**
            Like me! I really dislike this guy. All of his actions seem either childish, unsporting or phoney. But his skill and play are ridiculous.

            My seven year old was watching part of a Panthers game with me, still loyally wearing her AJ Green jersey, and after seeing Cam dance around several times then have a melt down to a ref because someone hit him hard and generally just be “cam being cam”, she turned to me and in that hyper-serious way of little girls says “that boy is a bad sport and no one should play with him anymore until he changes his bad attitude”.

            It was a good moment between us.

            1. I don’t follow football but soccer is absolutely infested with that behavior. And why not? Mostly it’s encouraged.

            2. Who is she calling “boy”? Has she been hanging out with Irish?

    1. Another “Great Leap Forward” famine will toughen them up.

    2. Worried that a shortage of male teachers has produced a generation of timid, self-centered and effeminate boys,

      The disease is wide spread.

      1. Reason Poll Question—

        How many here had even one male teacher in elementary school?

        1. I had two (one not counting gym). I went to private school though.

  3. During a stop at Manchester’s Puritan Backroom Restaurant, Kasich made his way through a swarm of fans. “Can’t you just stuff the ballot for me?” Kasich joked to a woman who told him she was a ballot counter. “I won’t tell anyone — consider it done,” she replied back to him.

    HA-HA-HA-HAAA! Is there anything better than election-stealing humor? Hilarious.

    Kasich ran into yet another Democratic voter who told the Ohio governor that he’s the only Republican he would vote for. “I ought to be running in a Democrat primary, I got more Democrats for me — you have any Republican friends?” Kasich jokingly replied.

    No shit. Why are you still running then? Drop out of the race and go away, please.

    1. Because he is angling for the VP slot and Ohio is a state the GOP needs to win in Nov.?

      1. Amen. He’s a phoney conservative who got elected on the republican wave. Hell, the democrat we had before him had a better rating from the nra.
        But you can’t win an election without Ohio so this tool is in play.

  4. Good. The public funding of teams won’t be reduced or go away until more cities lose teams and get stuck with a bill.

  5. It’s shocking that St. Louis politicians can make such horrible decisions. Shocking.

    I wonder if anybody has tried to correlate the value of fines imposed on the poorer areas of St. Louis county with approval of this stadium financing deal 20 years ago. It wouldn’t surprise me if county money started flowing to bond service payments instead of basic services, resulting in municipalities using “imaginative” revenue generation techniques.

  6. I feel so lucky that I live in an area of the US which might have enough population to support a major league team but is divided into many smaller cities, none of which have the economy to lure a major league team.

    So we just get stuck with a few minor league teams which do cost money for the taxpayer but not the big bucks that other areas have to pay.

    1. You are indeed lucky. You can have a great minor league stadium/arena for a tenth of the price of a major league, and while hockey, basketball or arena football are a little dicey, minor league baseball is, I would claim, more fun to watch than the majors (of course, “fun to watch” is in the context of baseball, so…)

      1. I’m not a huge baseball fan but I like to see minor league games live. The prices are better, the seats are excellent, and there’s no such thing as a routine grounder to short.

    2. Like North Carolina? Oh…

  7. So why would any smart city want the NFL?

    the prestige of having a professional football team

  8. Hey but they have a shiney big stadium, they can use whenever St louis gets hurricanes, sheesh money well spent.

  9. “So long as they (the Proles) continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern…Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.” ~ George Orwell, 1984

    We get to pay for their control? Perfect.

    It’s important to have someone to root for, when you won’t root for yourself.

  10. While the Rams won a vote in mid-January to relocate to Los Angeles, St. Louis taxpayers ill still be responsible for making $144 million in debt and maintenance payments for the Edward Jones Dome.

    Well, duh, the Rams won a vote in the NFL, & the stadium never belonged to them, but to the municipality. It’s no different than a load of other boondoggles wherein municipalities invest in facilities & improvements to attract businesses that either never materialize, underperform, go out of business, or move away.

    Stadium spending has to be considered a consumption good, not as a tool for making $.

  11. That’s kinda misleading though. We built the dome before we even had an NFL team. In theory it was for a football team, but we didn’t have ona at the time, nor any concrete plans. But simply to lure one.

    It’s used for all sorts of other stuff besides football. It will actually make more money without a football team in it, because it can be used year ’round now, not having 6 months reserved for football.

  12. Under what theory did the Rams and the NFL “stiff” St’ Louis? Do you think the Rams somehow became partly property of the city? As far as I know the Rams abided the terms of their lease. St. Louis did not build the dome specifically for the Rams, they built it to lure some NFL team there and they were not terribly picky about it. The city offered overly favorable lease terms to the Rams to tempt them out of the LA area, they were not trying to keep an existing team there, so it was not being held hostage. The city government sold itself cheap, and now is upset that the Rams did not fall in love with them forever.

  13. My roomate’s sister makes $86 an hour on the internet . She has been without work for 5 months but last month her pay was $17168 just working on the internet for a few hours. linked here…..
    Clik this link in Your Browser……..

    ??????????? http://www.Wage90.com

  14. My roomate’s sister makes $86 an hour on the internet . She has been without work for 5 months but last month her pay was $17168 just working on the internet for a few hours. linked here…..
    Clik this link in Your Browser……..

    ??????????? http://www.HomeSalary10.Com

  15. My roomate’s sister makes $86 an hour on the internet . She has been without work for 5 months but last month her pay was $17168 just working on the internet for a few hours. linked here…..
    Clik this link in Your Browser……..

    ??????????? http://www.HomeSalary10.Com

  16. John Oliver nails this whole situation on his show Last Week Tonight
    https://youtu.be/xcwJt4bcnXs

  17. It’s actually difficult to claim that Detroit actually has an NFL team…

  18. Well if taxes are going to exist, i’d rather it go to my favorite sport than to planned parenthood,law enforcement,public schools, public universities,NASA or anything else i can’t stand or don’t care about.

  19. I was ecstatic the Rams came back home. St Lousy never should have been allowed to steal them.

  20. thanks for the information is very interesting and very useful Cara Pemesanan Ace Maxs, Obat Untuk Diabetes

  21. The world is changing fast. people are also being transformed.day by day we are becoming more dependant on degital system.you are making me think of this really.You have a great method of sharing your thoughts, Obat Untuk Diabetes, Obat Diabetes

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.