Oh no the St. Louis Rams‘ Edward Jones Dome is running out of money! I can tell, because this St. Louis Post-Dispatch story right here says so!
The $24 million annual payments that cover stadium upkeep and pay off construction debt are scheduled to end over the next decade. Meanwhile, costs to keep toilets flushing, escalators rising and scoreboards blinking continue to grow.
In just six years, the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority will have burned through its $16 million savings, according to authority estimates. And if spending continues at that pace, in 15 years the Dome will be nearly $62 million in the hole.
Okay, right, it does cost money to keep toilets flushing, and the initial round of maintenance money is set to expire “over the next decade.” (Actually in 2021 if I have my numbers correct.) But this is no crisis, especially when you consider that Rams owner Stan Kroenke is already in talks with the city over how to get either a new stadium or extensive renovations to his current one, after exercising the ridicilous state-of-the-art out clause in his ridiculous stadium lease. Or to put it another way: If all St. Louis has to pay out to keep the Rams happy and still playing in St. Louis is $62 million over the next 15 years, that’ll be a cheap date.
Still, it is a reminder of just how godawful that lease was, given that not only did St. Louis city and county agree to pay to build the $300 million stadium in the first place, they committed themselves to paying for maintenance costs as well. At some point, it might be cheaper just to tell the Rams to get lost and start over with a new team — which would have the added benefit of not having to watch the Rams anymore.