Edward Jones Dome Operators Looking For Funds As Upkeep Payments Set To Taper Off
Edward Jones Dome "is running out of money," as the $24M annual payments that "cover stadium upkeep and pay off construction debt are scheduled to end over the next decade," according to a front-page piece by David Hunn of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The St. Louis Regional Convention & Sports Complex Authority estimates that in just six years, it "will have burned through" its $16M savings. If spending "continues at that pace," the Rams' venue will be nearly $62M "in the hole." City, county and state officials, who together pay off Dome debt and send it $4M for yearly maintenance, "are now searching for dollars." Authority Exec Dir Brian McMurtry: "I’m going to tell you, they don’t know how they’re going to do it." Gov't leaders "will need to consider" sending the Dome an additional $40M in cash or selling $40M in new bonds. McMurtry suggested that the authority put a "few items on the city’s bond issue list for a public vote as early as this November." The Dome authority also just approved a $7M maintenance and renovation budget for '15, including a $65,000 freight door replacement, a $100,000 bleacher repair, a new $1.4M WiFi system and $1.6M for "continued work on the speaker system." The sponsors "could opt not to replace some of the niceties, perhaps." But McMurtry said that other items "aren’t an option." Half of the roof "needs replacing," which will cost at least $2.5M. Rams Exec VP/Football Operations & COO Kevin Demoff said that the team "has helped fund improvements in the past, and is open to such discussions now" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 6/11).