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NATIONSBANK DEAL TO HAVE RAMIFICATIONS FOR ST. LOUIS SCENE?
Published September 11, 1996
NationsBank's $9B acquisition of Boatmen's Bancshares Inc. could have an effect on the Blues, Kiel Center, Rams and Cardinals, according to Josh Gotthelf of the ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Boatmen's, which contributed an estimated $2.9M into the Blues and Kiel Center in '95, is one of the "Big Four" members of the Kiel Center Partners, holding about a 12% stake in the arena and the club. The other members are Anheuser-Busch, Emerson Electric and Southwestern Bell and together, the four control almost 50% of the group, while 15 other member companies hold remaining shares. This past spring, Boatmen's signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with the Cardinals to remain a major sponsor of the team. The agreement includes signage, luxury boxes, group ticket packages, scoreboard advertising, radio and TV broadcast sponsorship and the right to place ATM's throughout Busch Stadium. Boatmen's is also a "gold level" sponsor with the Rams and the bank is in the second year of a five-year deal in which it pays "well into six figures" for a large signage package at the TWA Dome, commercials on the stadium scoreboard, a luxury suite and the right to run promotions during the game. Further, the bank is a member of Civic Progress, a civic group that has guaranteed the Rams revenue from at least 85% of luxury suites and club seats. NationsBank Senior VP Jim Nash noted the bank's role in the Kiel Partners "won't be known" until the Boatmen's deal is consummated. However, he said the bank plans to honor prior Boatmen's prior commitments to the Cardinals and Rams (ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/9). FEELING THE BLUES? Calling this a "make-or-break" season for Blues President Jack Quinn and GM/Head Coach Mike Keenan, Tom Wheatley of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH examines how the departure of Wayne Gretzky and trade rumors involving Brett Hull have effected ticket renewal rates. According to Blues VP/Sales Bruce Affleck, last year the club sold about 14,000 season tickets and 90% have been renewed for '96-97, compared to 92% the year before and 94-95% in previous years (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/11).