The Rams could leave the Edward Jones Dome if the stadium isn't a top-tier facility come 2015.
Neil Demause, author of the book Field of Schemes
, penned an article last week on his favorite subject: stadium-financing. The story, which originally ran in The Nation
and was re-purposed on NPR
, begins with his critique of a new stadium for the New Jersey Nets but goes onto cite other projects Demause views as financial boondoggles for taxpayers.
In St. Louis, Ballpark Village (or, it's lack thereof) gets a mention. But it was the deal to bring the Rams from Los Angeles to St. Louis that gets the most attention in the article, with a source telling Demause that the stadium lease was "probably the most scandalous deal in the country."
Check out the following excerpt:
Jim Nagourney, who spent three decades negotiating stadium deals on
behalf of government agencies and team owners, describes how he helped
snooker city officials as a consultant to the Los Angeles Rams, who were
then negotiating a move to a new stadium in St. Louis. "We had a
whiteboard, and we're putting stuff down" to demand in a stadium lease,
he recalls. "I said, 'Guys, some of this is crazy.' And John Shaw, who
was president of the Rams at the time -- brilliant, brilliant guy -- said,
'They can always say no. Let's ask for it.'" The result, which
Nagourney calls "probably the most scandalous deal in the country,"
included a clause requiring the new stadium to remain
"state-of-the-art," or else the team could break its lease and leave.
"The city was poorly represented -- the city is always poorly
represented.... We put in all of these ridiculous things, and the city
didn't have the sense to say no to any of them."