If you saw Tuesday’s report that the city of St. Louis had lost its defense of a referendum requirement for any spending on a new Rams stadium and wondered, “Hey, given that the city is for the Rams stadium and was against the referendum requirement in the first place, how hard did they really fight for it?”, well, you can start wondering a lot harder:
Mayor Francis Slay said Wednesday that he would not call for a public vote on a new downtown football stadium, nor would he appeal a judge’s decision invalidating the city ordinance requiring such a vote.
Moreover, a National Football League team is so important to the region and its residents, the city does not have to break even on its investment in the new stadium, Slay said in his first interview after the judge’s ruling this week.
“Having an NFL team in a city is really, I think, a huge amenity,” he said. “It’s one of the things that make living in a big city fun.”
Okay then! The mayor thinks that the NFL is fun, fun enough to be worth losing money on (he doesn’t say how much money), so why ask his constituents what they think? That’s what Rudy Giuliani would have called the absence of leadership, though some people might have another word for it.
Anyway, there’s still a chance that Jeanette Mott Oxford and friends will be able to intervene with an appeal of this week’s ruling, so stay tuned. I’d say it’s a sad day when citizens have to sue their city to get it to enforce its own laws, but then Giuliani was ahead of the curve on that, too.