Scottrade Center renovation goes to court
The Scottrade Center renovations are currently underway and are being carried out 24/7 to meet the Ed Sheeran (!) Concert deadline date of September 17th. Few Blues fans can disagree that the building, which opened in 1994, is in dire need of a renovation. When the problem arises, it comes down to who pays for the upgrades. To solve this problem, the Blues sue the controller and take the case to court.
The deal to fund a $ 64 million renovation was approved by the St. Louis Aldermen’s Council in February, but City Comptroller Darlene Green refuses to approve it due to concerns about the city’s credit rating . Without Green’s signature, the bonds to finance the renovation cannot be sold. Green instead of signing, tried to negotiate a different financing plan. The Blues, in a court file released today, state that Green is acting outside of his duties and have filed a summons of mandamus asking him to perform his duties.
From Post-Dispatch, the renovation payment plan is as follows:
Combined with interest, the cost to the city of the 30-year renovations is estimated at $ 105 million. The plan includes $ 50 million from a District Community Improvement Tax on sales to the Scottrade Center over the next 30 years.
To help pay off the debt, $ 55 million from a 5% tax on ticket sales would be used. With the debt payments on the Kiel Opera House renovations ending in 2021, the $ 800,000 spent annually on this project would shift into Scottrade Center payments through 2048, for a total of approximately $ 21 million. of dollars.
Part of the debt payment will always come from general revenue.
The city’s contributions would fund new seats throughout the stadium, a new scoreboard hanging in the center of the stadium, improvements to the sound and lighting system, renovated changing rooms, renovated concession stands and new offices administrative. Various entrances and facades would also be given a makeover.
The Blues will contribute $ 50 million for additional renovations to the city-owned building.
Without the funding, the future of home improvement payments is unclear.
It’s hard to argue with the Blues when they say a refurbished Scottrade is the key to bringing major events to town. It’s hard to forget how St. Louis reached the highest level of consideration for the 2018 World Junior Championships, but lost to Buffalo. Part of the consideration paid by the IIHF was the condition of the premises. The metro area did not have the updated sites, and Scottrade was one of them. Other events, such as basketball and NCAA wrestling, use the Scottrade Center, and an upgrade to the site would make St. Louis more attractive as a host.
On the other hand, it is misleading to claim that it is just the state of the Scottrade Center that is holding St. Louis back. While we can organize an event with the best of them, the downtown area needs to be revitalized in the worst possible way. Scottrade being up to date might be a part of it (like an MLS team, but I digress), and you have to spend the money to make the money. The problem here seems to be where the city, and in particular the city controller, feels the money is best spent.
The declaration of the Keil Center partners is below:
It is unacceptable that, although the funding agreement was duly approved by the council of aldermen and the mayor six months ago, the comptroller of the city of St. Louis refuses to fulfill his legal obligation and to sign the Scottrade Center funding agreement. The delay has now reached the point where we have no alternative but to seek legal recourse. The filing of a lawsuit was the last thing we wanted to do, but we are doing it today without reservations and with absolute determination to see the agreement executed by the comptroller after its adoption by the council of aldermen and its signature by the mayor of St.. Louis. The views of the comptroller have been expressed and heard, but the comptroller’s office simply does not have the power to veto bills passed by the council of aldermen and the mayor. This is an essential project for Saint-Louis. However, without the promised funding, the completion of this work and our ability to sustain and pursue major events that are critical to jobs and our economy are at serious risk.