CHICAGO — The public agency that owns the Edward Jones Dome — home of the National Football League's St. Louis Rams — has tapped Goldman Sachs to advise it on stadium finance issues.
The St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority board approved a resolution hiring the investment bank at a rate of $20,000 per month. The firm will provide advice on how to finance upgrades required under the Rams lease or finance a new professional football stadium with the goal of ensuring that the city holds on to the team as well. Goldman also would provide advice on how to generate new revenue should the team leave the dome.
The directive to hire the adviser came from Gov. Jay Nixon, an authority official said. State officials did not return a call to comment on how Goldman was chosen.
Nixon said in a published statement: "The state has a long-term interest in the future of the dome and in ensuring Missouri continues to be home to this proud NFL franchise. I look forward to my continued discussions with Greg Carey of Goldman Sachs about this matter." Carey is a managing director and chairman of Goldman's public sector and infrastructure group.
The authority contracts with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission to operate the stadium and it leases the stadium to the team. The commission has been the lead player in negotiations over how to upgrade the stadium to meet lease requirements.
An independent arbitration panel recently picked the team's estimated $750 million renovation of the dome over the commission's much more modest proposal as the only option that meets a lease requirement to bring the stadium into top-notch condition by March 1, 2015 or the lease shifts to an annual renewal term after the 2014 season.
The RCSCA issued $256 million of 30-year appropriation backed bonds under a complex agreement between the city, county, state, commission and team in 1991 to finance the stadium and an expansion of the A.J. Cervantes Convention Center.
The final maturity date is in 2021 while the lease expires in 2025. The state, St. Louis, and St. Louis County together pay $20 million annually to cover debt service and $4 million for maintenance. The city and county tap hotel and motel taxes to cover their share.