A Missouri board approved $15 million in tax credits Tuesday for a new riverfront football stadium in downtown St. Louis, the first piece of an effort by state leaders aimed at either preventing the Rams from moving west or luring another team to the city in their place.
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority want to build a new stadium along the Mississippi River to counter the Rams' possible relocation to Los Angeles. Owner Stan Kroenke has proposed building a $1.8-billion stadium there on the site of Hollywood Park, the old horse racing track.
The Missouri Development Finance Board approved the $15-million plan despite opposition from Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a board member who is running for governor. The sports authority plans to request another $17.5 million in tax credits next year and the year after, for a total of $50 million. That's only a small chunk of funding needed for the project, which is estimated to cost $998 million.
A plan presented to the board on Tuesday outlines another $250 million from an NFL team owner, $200 million from the NFL's G4 loan program and $160 million from the sale of seat licenses. The state would need to issue $135 million in bonds under that plan, along with $66 million in bonds from St. Louis and a total of $187 million in tax credits and other state and local incentives.
The $15 million in tax credits approved Tuesday will be provided only if the sports authority can come up with at least $30 million in contributions. The tax credits also depend on the NFL committing to financially contribute.
The plans have been a magnet of criticism from some lawmakers, who are upset that it could incur debt that taxpayers then must pay.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met Tuesday to discuss settling the Deflategate legal case but were unsuccessful, two people familiar with the case told the Associated Press.
The failure to strike a deal after about four hours of talks means a Wednesday hearing will proceed as scheduled.
The San Francisco 49ers traded tight end Asante Cleveland to the Patriots for offensive lineman Jordan Devey.
The trade still needed to be finalized through the NFL and the players were expected to take physicals once they made their cross-country flights to their new teams, which could complete the deal as soon as Wednesday.