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Upgrades for Scottrade Center Move Forward

St. Louis Blues

The St. Louis Blues received some good news on Wednesday, as a funding plan for Scottrade Center upgrades was approved by a committee.

The Blues have been discussing an extensive overhaul to the Scottrade Center, pitching a multi-phase $138 million renovation to the arena. Funding discussions with the city have been ongoing, as the Blues are looking to secure a private/public partnership in the plan.

On Monday, St. Louis’ aldermanic Ways and Means committee rejected a funding proposal for the arena, but reconsidered the issue on Wednesday. The vote on Wednesday ultimately went in favor of the renovations, though officials changed a few key details relating to the agreement. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Most of the changes applied to the Scottrade Center proposal, which would total $105 million from city funds over 30 years including cash and interest payments. The plan additionally includes $50 million from a Community Improvement District tax on sales at Scottrade Center over the next 30 years.

The amended proposal increased the number of revenue sources for paying off the debt, including $55 million from a 5 percent tax on ticket sales. With debt payments on Kiel Opera House renovations ending in 2021, the $800,000 dedicated annually to that project would shift to Scottrade Center payments thru 2048, totaling about $21 million.

Part of the debt payment still will come from general revenue, which concerned some members of the committee but not enough to prevent it from passing 5-3.

City Deputy Comptroller James Garavaglia said the Comptroller’s Office remains opposed to the Scottrade Center deal despite the amendments. Garavaglia said the biggest concern is that the $55 million in ticket tax revenue doesn’t start coming in until 2034, because that tax is currently dedicated to another source.

This vote does not finalize city funds for the renovation, as it will still be left to the full Board of Alderman to approve the package. The Ways and Means committee also advanced funding for a proposed MLS stadium in the city, something that was covered on our sister site, Soccer Stadium Digest.

RELATED STORIES: Scottrade Center Renovation Plan StalledSt. Louis Blues Seek Scottrade Center Upgrades

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