JEFFERSON CITY - Representatives heard testimony from members of Gov. Jay Nixon's team to keep the St. Louis Rams in the city with plans to build a new stadium.
Dave Peacock told the House Government Oversight and Accountability Committee if there were no firm plans to build a stadium by the end of the year, the state could risk losing the Rams to California. Buzz around the Rams' potential move to California surfaced after Stan Kroenke, the team's owner, made a deal to build a new stadium in the Los Angeles area.
A report from the Missouri Department of Economic Development estimated the state would receive nearly $300 million in net tax revenues over the next 30 years if a new stadium is built. Peacock said a new stadium could also lead to greater profitability for the Edward Jones Dome, the current home of the Rams. He said freeing up space in the convention center would offer new opportunities for growth. Peacock also reiterated to the committee that, "we do not move forward with private investment," unless an NFL team committs to playing in St. Louis.
Mike Downing, the head of the Missouri Department of Economic Development told the committee the state could lose roughly $10 million in personal income taxes from Rams players if the team were to leave.
Opponents of building a new stadium for the Rams told committee members St. Louis could learn from other parts of the country that paid hefty prices for relying on sports as sources of economic development, especially when professional sports operation do not deliver on the jobs the promise to during early stages of development.
According to Committee Chairman Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, the Rams have the lowest operating income in the league and the value of a team in Los Angeles exceeds the value of a team in St. Louis.