St. Louis Commission Must Pay $2M For Legal Expenses Tied To Rams' Dome Renovations
Arbitrators recently ruled that the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission must pay $2M in "legal expenses incurred by the Rams as the team fought over renovations" to Edward Jones Dome, according to David Hunn of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Commission officials yesterday said that the CVC has estimated its own arbitration expenses will "total about $2 million more." That puts the "total public cost at nearly" $4M. St. Louis County Exec Charlie Dooley's Chief Policy Adviser Mike Jones said, "Obviously, it's a sum we would rather not pay." The Rams "asked the arbitrators to award the team nearly" $3.5M in costs. The arbitrators "sided with the CVC in several places, however, denying reimbursement for expert witness fees and 'duplicative' services performed by a second law firm." The St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, which owns the Dome, "hired Goldman Sachs" in February to "advise the authority" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/10). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Andrew Ackerman cited sources as saying that the SEC is "scrutinizing" the contract between Goldman and the authority. Local officials who were "worried about losing" the Rams hired Goldman to "analyze a range of financing options to upgrade the Edward Jones Dome and keep the team in the 18-year-old stadium." The options "include a bond deal to finance contractually required upgrades." Goldman's $20,000-a-month contract as "financial advisor" to the authority states the bank is not providing "advice" -- just information to senior officials. The bank said that it may "seek to underwrite the authority's bonds should the agency issue debt in the future." A source said that the firm was "hired on a broad assignment that is still in its early stages, and that there is currently no plan to sell municipal bonds for the stadium." Still, sources said that regulators are "concerned the firm is calling itself an adviser and then disclaiming responsibility to act as a fiduciary" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/9).