Governor Jay Nixon is asking two St. Louis business leaders to find a solution that will keep an NFL team in St. Louis before the Rams decide in January whether it'll weaken its ties to the Edward Jones Dome.
"Make no mistake about it -- St. Louis is an NFL city," Nixon said. "The economic impact of having an NFL team in St. Louis extends long beyond Sunday afternoon and sends a clear signal that this city is a worldwide player."
Nixon dodged questions about specifics, such as how much it'll cost to keep the team here, even as rumors spread that Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the NFL are already committed to moving the team to Los Angeles. When asked whether he'd be open to building the Rams an outdoor stadium north of Lumiere Place and south of the Stan Musial Bridge, he repeated that he's not yet advocating for any one solution.
"My mind is open to the best option forward," Nixon said in a morning press call. "I'm not blocking anything out."
Nixon's task force will submit proposals by January 28, when Rams officials say they'll announce whether they'll convert the lease of the Edward Jones Dome to year-to-year.
Nixon tapped former Anheuser-Busch president David Peacock and Clayton attorney Robert Blitz to lead the charge, saying they're tasked to "analyze the current situation and provide me within 60 days a briefing that lays out our possible options."
"We want to move beyond theoretical and more into specifics," Nixon said.
Peacock worked directly with the NFL on marketing and advertising while at Anheuser-Busch and is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame advisory board. Blitz, a founding member of the law firm Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch, was a member of the legal team that brought the Rams to St. Louis in 1995 and is legal counsel to the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority.
Is it too little too late? Nixon says he doesn't think so.
"We feel this is the right thing at this time," Nixon said. "Certifying us as a place that the Rams should stay [and] the NFL wants to do business, it sets a higher standard."
Missouri, St. Louis and St. Louis County agreed on a financing deal for the Edward Jones Dome in 1991. The state pays $12 million a year, and the city and county each pay $6 million.