Missouri advancing new St. Louis Rams stadium financing to replace Edward Jones Dome.

CHICAGO -- The Missouri Development Finance Board signed off on tax credit allocations to support the state-backed financing plan for a new $1 billion St. Louis Rams football stadium.

The board approved the tax credits at a meeting Aug. 18. The financing package relies on a total of $50 million in support through the MDFB over a three-year period, including $15 million this year.

The use of the tax credits hinges on whether the state succeeds in finalizing the financing package and getting a commitment from the team; its owner, Stan Kroenke, is seeking to build a new stadium in Inglewood, Calif. near Los Angeles.

Promoters of the stadium said the board's approval helps advance the project.

"The benefits of a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis are clear, not only to our metropolitan region but the entire state of Missouri as well," said Dave Peacock, a leader of the stadium task force appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon. "We appreciate the board's support as we continue to make meaningful and measurable progress toward keeping the St. Louis Rams here in St. Louis."

The Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority applied for the tax credits last month. The Nixon-backed financing package relies on $200 million of borrowing with a piece supported by the city and another piece supported by the state, $160 million in seat license sales, and total of $187 million in various tax credits, subsidies, and other incentives. The remaining contribution to cover the $1 billion stadium would come from the team and National Football League.

The approval comes several weeks after a St. Louis Circuit Court judge said the city is free to spend tax money to fund the stadium. The court overturned a 2002 city ordinance aimed at requiring such support go to a public vote.

The court found the language too vague and concluded it conflicts with state law. The city does not plan an appeal. The city and county have expressed support for a new stadium for the Rams to keep them from relocating.



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