Friday July 17th, 2015

The NFL met with members of the St. Louis task force who want to build the Rams a new stadium so they can keep the team in town.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, NFL executive vice president Eric Grubma met with a group that included Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, stadium task force leaders Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz, Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff and investment banking firm Goldman Sachs at a St. Louis hotel on Thursday.

The group discussed stadium financing, an updated stadium design, possibly acquiring land and an outline of a prospective lease agreement that would be presented to the Rams or another NFL team to replace the Rams if the franchise decided to leave town.

"We continue to make progress," Peacock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "And it was a good update. We covered a lot of important ground, and we'll continue meeting with the NFL. I think the NFL delegation was very pleased with the progress being made on the stadium. The feedback was positive.”

Missouri lawmakers sued Nixon and the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority in May over Nixon's ability to provide funding for a new nearly $1 billion 62,500-seat riverfront football stadium in St. Louis.

Nixon and his task force say they can extend bonds on the Edward Jones Dome on the city and state level, which would give almost $250 million in public funds for the new facility.

The Rams plan on moving to a year-to-year lease with the city of St. Louis because they have not been able to reach a deal to help fund renovations for Edward Jones Dome, which is considered outdated, though it opened 20 years ago.

The owners of the Edward Jones Dome sued the city of St. Louis, claiming a decade-old ordinance that requires a public vote before spending money on a new stadium is vague.

Rams owner Stan Kroenke is moving forward with plans for a team in Los Angeles, after buying 60 acres of land in Inglewood last year with plans to build a $1.86-billion, 80,000-seat NFL stadium.

The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders also have a proposal from Carson, a Los Angeles suburb, to build a stadium there.

NFL owners are scheduled to meet in Chicago next month to discuss the Los Angeles stadium situation.

- Scooby Axson

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