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Effort coming to force public vote on St. Louis stadium

As St. Louis tries to build a new stadium in order to keep the Rams from moving to Los Angeles, an effort to force a public vote will soon begin. Which would as a practical matter derail the effort to build a new stadium in St. Louis.

Via David Hunn of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, several Aldermen will introduce a bill on Friday that would require a vote before $150 million in city funds would be devoted to a proposed $1 billion stadium (which undoubtedly will cost a lot more than that, but they’ll worry about that later, when it’s too late to turn back).

“There’s really a lot of outrage,” said Alderman Meg Green, one of the supporters of the bill. “I know this is probably not what the mayor’s office wants.”

Indeed it’s not. Mayor Francis Slay’s office says a public vote will keep a stadium from being built -- which will guarantee a departure by the Rams.

The co-chair of the task force charged with coming up with a stadium plan said he welcomes a public vote. As long as it’s done quickly.

"[A]nything pushing City approval past late November puts this project and retaining our team at risk,” Dave Peacock told Hunn.

It’s unlikely that a citywide vote could be accomplished in that kind of a time frame. Which means that, regardless of whether the citizens of St. Louis would approve the expenditure of $150 million in city funds for a stadium primarily to be used by a man whose billions are equaled or exceeded by his wife’s billions, any plan for a public vote would be relevant not to keeping the Rams but luring another team away from another city.

You know, like the way St. Louis lured the Rams away from Los Angeles in the first place.