The construction of a new NFL stadium in St. Louis does not need voter approval to use city tax dollars, St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Thomas Frawley ruled on Monday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
City ordinance requires a public vote, however Frawley ruled the ordinance invalid, according to the Post-Dispatch. Frawley also ruled that the location of the planned stadium along the riverfront is close enough to be considered “adjacent” to the city's convention center, which state law requires.
The owners of the Edward Jones Dome, the St. Louis' Rams current home, previously sued the city of St. Louis, claiming the ordinance that requires a public vote before spending money on a new stadium is vague. The Post-Dispatch reports that St. Louis University Law Professor John Ammann has filed a separate lawsuit to force a city vote and expects his clients will want to appeal Frawley's ruling.
Last month, 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. The stadium is expected to cost $998 million, $187 million of which would come from tax incentives under Missouri governor Jay Nixon's financial plan estimate.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke has moved 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.