How the Rams "Snookered" St. Louis: Details of the "Most Scandalous" Stadium Deal in History

Categories: Community, Rams
Thumbnail image for edward_jones_dome350X200.jpg
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."


Sponsor Content

Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...