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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Best Thing I've Read Today

Two good pieces to read about the Rams' official application to the NFL to move back to Los Angeles:

First, a great column by Tony Messenger on state legislators who are actively moving to keep Missouri money from being used to build the Rams a new stadium in St. Louis...

First, the president pro tem of the Missouri Senate, Republican Ron Richard of Joplin, wrote a letter to Slay, and copied it to Nixon, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and others, calling into question the city’s proposed financing plan approved by the Board of Aldermen.

“While it is understandable that local leaders from St. Louis are aggressively backing a plan to build a new stadium in their city, when such a plan seeks to use state resources it is only proper that the General Assembly, as the voice of the citizens of the entire state, be consulted in the matter,” wrote Richard.

That the letter came from Richard is significant, because over the years, he’s been a backer of many St. Louis economic development projects. As speaker of the House, he was an ally of Nixon’s in passing automobile manufacturing incentives that have been key in both Kansas City and St. Louis. Richard is not just some rural yokel spouting off against the big city. His letter makes it clear, to the NFL, to bond sellers and investors, that the public money promised by Nixon et al is nothing but a fantasy.

“The bottom line is this,” Richard continued, “it would be speculative at best for the City of St. Louis and for the NFL to act in reliance upon this stream of $12 million from the state’s general revenue fund being continued into the foreseeable future as they negotiate a deal concerning the building of a new stadium.”

This is what happens when public officials, even with good intentions, bypass public process. From the beginning of the stadium process, Nixon has played the role of court jester, telling Rams fans he’s using all the power of his office to build a new stadium while his lawyers tell the courts that the governor has nothing to do with the process.
Second, Barry Petchesky on how the team denigrates St. Louis, saying,
"Any NFL Club that signs on to this (new stadium) proposal in St. Louis will be well on the road to financial ruin, and the League will be harmed." 
In other words, we don't want to be here, and no other team should move here if we leave. That's gonna reverberate in the minds of locals if the Rams are forced to stay.