The ownership of the St. Louis Blues is seeking a court order to compel the city’s comptroller to sign an agreement on renovations to the Scottrade Center.
Back in February, the St. Louis Board of Alderman gave approval to a proposed multi-phase renovation project at the arena. Under the terms of that agreement, it is estimated that the city would spend $105 million–including interest–over 30 years to pay off the upgrades.
To this point, city comptroller Darlene Green–whose signature is needed in order for the city to begin selling bonds–has not signed off on the agreement, citing her concerns over what it will mean for the city’s credit rating. Kiel Center Partners, meanwhile contends that Green does not have the authority to veto the agreement, and took that argument to court just days after a separate lawsuit was filed to block public funding for the upgrades. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The Blues are seeking what’s called a writ of mandamus, a court order directing a government official to fulfill his or her duties. Green’s stance suggests the law gives her discretion not to sign.
Green’s spokesman said she is waiting to see a copy of the legal filing before commenting on it. Tuesday’s filing comes four days after opponents of the Scottrade Center renovations filed suit Friday to have the public financing ordinance deemed unenforceable.
Blues owners say they have met with Green and her staff multiple times over the last six months to attempt to get her signature on the agreement. They say Green instead tried to negotiate a different financing plan.
Kiel Center Partners has taken on additional loans to complete the first phase of renovations while the dispute with the comptroller remains to be settled. Under the agreement approved in February, the city-funded renovations were to take place in annual phases over three years.
Green’s office responded in a statement issued on Wednesday, a statement that began with “It is unfortunate that Comptroller Green is being sued just for doing her job. As Chief Fiscal Officer of the City of St. Louis, the Comptroller is charged with protecting the city’s credit rating, and is given broad authority to pursue strategies that do so.”
Scottrade Center originally opened in 1994, and proponents of the project have contended that the renovations will help the arena to compete for events with similar venues.