The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the tag “Cara Spencer”

Blues Blues

The St. Louis Blues Hockey Club has been off to one of the best starts in hockey. Off the ice, things have not gone as well. Two recent additions to their ongoing saga:

1. The club’s practice facility will be built in a location other than Creve Coeur Park which has environmental issues. The location has not been revealed but will be in Maryland Heights.

2. More turmoil about paying for renovations to their arena. Alderman Cara Spencer has raised objections to the City of St. Louis deferring Payment in Lieu of Taxes by the Blues. Spencer complained this change was made without the knowledge of the Board of Aldermen. The whole issue will apparently be decided in an ongoing lawsuit which has raised legal objections to the city funding the arena renovations.

Side note- Tom Stillman who is the Principal Owner of the Blues did something incredibly kind for a friend of mine in recent months. Tom was a total stranger to this individual and really brightened his life. Written by Paul Dribin“`


The Right Way to Fund Sports Stadiums

I am opposed to public funding of professional sports facilities because it is immoral and does not provide a good rate of return. Sometimes there need to be improvements to infrastructure and other areas that only the public sector can provide. In this case the funding should be through a Regional Sports Authority. The City of St. Louis should not alone pay for upgrades to Scottrade Center or any place else, because most of the attendees at events there are from outside the city. The county should pay its’ fair share. This is exactly the proposal of Alderman Cara Spencer of St. Louis. Kudos to her. Written by Paul Dribin

Hockey Public Funding

A fascinating fight is brewing in St Louis over public funding of the repairs to the Scottrade Center where the hockey Blues play. The Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance authorizing payment for the repairs in the form of 30 year bonds. A group led by Alderman Cara Spencer has filed suit and challenged the legality of the action because it violates terms of the Missouri Constitution. In addition to Ms. Spencer, another plaintiff is Jeanette Mott Oxford, former state representative, and Executive Director of Empower Missouri, a non profit advocacy agency for poor people. Ms. Oxford is a friend and colleague of mine and I can tell you she is very smart, determined, and fearless.

A major item of discussion concerns who owns the building. The popular perception is that the city owns it which is apparently not true. The city owns the land under it, and the Blues own the building.

Once again this is a matter of a cash starved city funding a sports venue for rich private parties. Furthermore most of the attendees at Blues game live outside the city. Ms. Spencer has recommended a regional sports authority that receives funding from the county as well as the city,

I love hockey and think Tom Stillman the owner of the Blues is a good guy. I also agree with Ms. Spencer and Oxford that public funds should not be used for this purpose. Written by Paul Dribin

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