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St. Louis Blues Seek Scottrade Center Upgrades

St. Louis Blues

Citing the desire to improve the arena’s long-term viability, the St. Louis Blues are working with city officials on a plan to renovate the Scottrade Center

The two sides are currently discussing a proposal that would lead to about $138 million in upgrades for the Scottrade Center, which first opened in 1994. Aside from improving the experience as it relates to NHL action, the renovations are also being sought to make the arena more competitive in attracting events.

Among the upgrades that could take place if the renovations go through include new seating, a new scoreboard, improvements to the locker rooms, overhauls to the exterior, and more. The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is set to consider a funding plan for the changes. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The city’s $67.5 million would be raised in a tax-exempt bond issue and would be spent in the next three years under the plan.

Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed said a bill would be introduced this week and could get a committee hearing as early as next week.

Blues owners intend to contribute $50 million out of pocket over the next 20 to 30 years for additional improvements beyond the other renovations, Blues Chief Executive Chris Zimmerman said.

Blues executives and city officials are asking for the state contribution to come in $6 million annual installments. However, Blues officials said that request hasn’t been finalized.

One issue could be the use of state funds in the project, which would cover improvements beyond those to be handled by the city over a three-year period. The request from the state was to come out to about $70.5 million, but there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding pending stadium/arena projects in Missouri after the election of governor-elect Eric Greitens in November.

Greitens, who will be sworn in next week, has publicly admonished the use of state funds in constructing stadiums. His criticism has already had an effect on the pursuit of MLS expansion franchise in St. Louis.

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