If You Build It, Will They Stay?

While St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke awaits a decision from the NFL regarding the team’s proposed move to Inglewood, Calif., before starting construction on a new stadium, city and stadium officials back in Missouri are duking it out over who can authorize money to build a new stadium in an effort to keep the team.

The public board that owns and operates the , where the Rams currently play, contends a 2002 ordinance requiring a public vote on such funding is “overly broad, vague and ambiguous,” and wants a circuit court to rule it doesn’t apply to a stadium proposal.

The city, however, filed a counterclaim that asks the court to rule the ordinance is valid. It also asserts the Dome authority can’t build a new stadium on the proposed riverfront anyway. It says the state law that allowed for the building of the Jones Dome – and is being used to authorize construction of a new stadium – required the dome to be located “adjacent to an existing convention facility.”

But the proposed new stadium, the city’s filing argues, is “located on the other side of a road” from America’s Center and the Jones Dome, where the city currently hosts conventions. St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Thomas Frawley scheduled a hearing for June 25. The lawsuit is one of two attacking funding sources for the $985 million football stadium. In the meantime Kroenke, as well as reps from the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, has been meeting with NFL officials to discuss the situations in their teams’ home cities.

A decision on relocation requests will be made by the league in December.