$50 million in state tax credits to be sought for new NFL stadium in St. Louis

A revised plan for a new NFL stadium in St. Louis calls for the stadium authority to seek $50 million in state tax credits from the Missouri Development Finance Board.

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The credits would be spread over three years to help fund the proposed open-air stadium along the Mississippi River north of the Gateway Arch, a major part of the effort to keep pro football in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1fPK2VT ) reported Friday that the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority will present its request Tuesday at a meeting in Jefferson City.

The authority will request $15 million in state tax credits this year and $17.5 million in credits in both 2016 and 2017, the Post-Dispatch said. A spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Economic Development declined comment.

New financial details in the authority's application include an updated cost: $998 million, up from the initial $985 million. The cost includes $820 million for site clearance and construction, $60 million for land acquisition and $118 million for costs that include design and professional fees. The goal is to have the stadium built prior to the 2019 season.

The new plan also revises the anticipated funding from the extension of state and city bonds. Initial estimates called for as much as $350 million in bond extensions from the city, state and St. Louis County.

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Gov. Jay Nixon pulled the county out of the extension part of the project in March, so new figures show $201 million that would come from bond extensions — $66 million from the city and $135 million from the state.

But the revision significantly increases the anticipated amount of financing through state tax credit proceeds and other incentives. Also, the authority now estimates $160 million in net income from seat licenses, up from the original estimate of, at most, $130 million.

The application says tax-related contributions and tax credit issuances would be contingent on showing that an NFL team would occupy the stadium. It does not specify that the team would be the Rams, who are considering a move to Los Angeles after the 2015 season, regardless of whether a new stadium is built to replace the Edward Jones Dome.

Nixon last fall appointed former Anheuser-Busch President Dave Peacock and lawyer Bob Blitz as the task force to come up with a plan to keep the NFL in St. Louis. The stadium proposal was announced in January.

Peacock said seeking the state tax credits "is one of many steps" in securing funding for a St. Louis stadium.

"It's certainly a sign we're progressing down the path," he said.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com