Policymakers take stock of Rams settlement endowment idea

Roughly a year after a landmark settlement over the St. Louis Rams’ departure to Los Angeles, the parties involved in the lawsuit still haven’t agreed how to split up more than $500 million.

But after deciding to place the money in an account that garners more interest, some are warming to the idea of using the money for efforts that could help the entire St. Louis region. That could include placing the funds in something resembling an endowment — an idea that’s gotten a mixed reaction from policymakers.

“I really do think that we have an opportunity to turn this into a billion-dollar impact,” said Dave Spence, a member of the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority board.

In November 2021, St. Louis, St. Louis County and the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, announced a $790 million settlement over the Rams’ exit from St. Louis. After deducting attorneys’ fees, there was a little over $500 million left for the three parties.

Since that time, there’s been behind-the-scenes negotiations on how to split the funds. Some St. Louis policymakers believe the city should get more money since, among other things, they were willing to help fund an unsuccessful stadium proposal to keep the Rams in St. Louis. But St. Louis County officials point out that county residents helped pay for the Dome, which the regional authority oversees and was the Rams home.

There’s been two notable developments in the settlement saga that some hope change the conversation around the money.

The first is that the parties agreed to put the funds in an account that garners more interest. Spence estimated that the amount of money will grow to around $519 million by January because of the decision. In a joint statement, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said the three parties agreed to put the “Rams settlement funds into a flexible, low-risk account at Commerce Bank, in line with other City of St. Louis…

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