Okay, who didn’t see this coming?
The St. Louis Blues want local governments to renovate their city-owned downtown arena as part of a project that will also upgrade the city’s convention center and former home of its recently departed NFL team.
The Blues ownership’s renovation request is expected to cost more than $100 million (the entire franchise sold for just $120 million in 2012), while adding upgrades to the convention center and the Edward Jones Dome — which won’t be home of the Rams anymore, but is still used by conventions every once in a while — could run into the “hundreds of millions,” says the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Blues owner Tom Stillman first asked for arena upgrades last October; convention center president Kitty Ratcliffe says “it would not have been the right time” to ask for this money before, what with Missouri being in the middle of debating shoveling money at the Rams and all, but now it’s a different story.
And why exactly would St. Louis want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade its convention center and its NHL team’s arena, entirely at public expense?
“We’re looking at this as a boost for the region’s tourism industry,” said Mary Ellen Ponder, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s chief of staff. “But right now it’s basically us listening to their needs.”
Translation: The Blues owners said they need it, so we’re going to try to give it to them. Excuse me now while I go write a letter to Mayor Slay explaining why I need a pony.