Why NOT let the public vote?
There is breaking News out of the St. Louis Circuit Court. Judge Thomas Frawley has ruled (http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/no-vote-on-city-money-for-new-nfl-stadium-in/article_51c33b67-9b72-5055-ba56-94cc9e1b46e2.html) that a city ordinance requiring a vote on the use of public funds to build a new stadium is invalid. This clears one hurdle standing in the way of construction of a nearly $1 billion football stadium on the St. Louis riverfront.
Those interested in reading the ruling can read it here (http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/stltoday.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/71/a7116828-ac39-5c13-ab82-0a558fb68353/55bfaef6e79eb.pdf.pdf). I’m no lawyer so I’m not equipped to discuss the merits of the judge’s decision. However, it is interesting that there has been such an effort by the St. Louis Regional Complex and Sports Authority to block (http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-st-louis-nfl-stadium-lawsuit-civic-vote-20150410-story.html) a vote. One wonders why.
Is it because the new stadium cannot be justified economically (https://showmeinstitute.org/sites/default/files/20150323%20-%20Rams%20Testimony%20-%20Miller%20_0.pdf)? Is it because they know that a new stadium won’t lead to downtown redevelopment (https://showmeinstitute.org/blog/corporate-welfare/show-me-now-new-stadium-rams)? Could it be because they know taxpayers won’t see a positive return on the subsidies that would go into stadium construction (https://showmeinstitute.org/blog/local-government/no-post-dispatch-rams-dont-pay-their-way)?
It’s also not like the Authority didn’t have time to get this issue on the ballot. The stadium taskforce unveiled their plans in January (https://showmeinstitute.org/blog/transparency/thoughts-latest-rams-press-conference. If the April ballot was too soon they could have gotten it on the August ballot (i.e. today’s ballot). What was holding them up?
Whatever the Authority’s reasons might be, it got its wish. The project can move ahead without a public vote. That doesn’t make this project a good idea though, at least economically speaking. Hopefully, policymakers will come to realize that.