The Missouri state senator is “cautiously optimistic” about the Scottrade Center bill; time may be its greatest adversary
A Missouri lawmaker pushing legislation to fund renovations to the Scottrade Center in St. Louis is hopeful, with the last week of the session beginning.
Missouri’s 2017 legislative session ends Friday at 6 p.m. in Jefferson City.
State Senator Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan) has legislation that would allow state funding for land clearing projects “related to tourist infrastructure facilities.”
The Schatz Bill would allow up to $ 6 million in public funding per year to pay for renovations to the Scottrade Center, which was built in 1994.
Schatz tells the Missourinet he’s “cautiously optimistic” heading into the final week.
The Senate Economic Development Committee approved the bill in March, by 9 votes to 2. State Sens. Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby) and Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) voted against the bill.
Bill Schatz is now in the Senate, where his biggest opponent is perhaps the weather. REAL ID, the Blue Alert legislation and charter schools are just a few of the major issues still unresolved in the Senate.
State Representative Jean Evans (R-Manchester) told Missourinet that a similar bill has been added as an amendment to Senate Bill 302 in the House. SB 302 involves “advanced industrial manufacturing zones”.
Scottrade is where the NHL Blues play.
Supporters are asking the state for about $ 65 million to help fund the improvements. Schatz and other supporters of the bill say the 23-year-old’s plumbing and mechanical systems are failing.
Blues CEO Chris Zimmerman testified before the Missouri Senate Economic Development Committee in March. He told senators that the plumbing and electrical at the Scottrade Center were breaking down and the plumbing throughout the facility “is deteriorating.”
The Scottrade Center, formerly known as the Savvis Center, has hosted over 32 million guests.
During that March hearing, Zimmerman provided senators with a package stating that Scottrade’s hot water pumps “are at the end of their useful life” and that the water heaters throughout the building are original from 1994 and ” do not have sufficient capacity during large events.
The package also noted that the Scottrade Center building lighting controls “run from Windows 95” and that the building still has its original back-up power generator from 1994.
Schatz said in March that Scottrade generates $ 170 million in direct spending each year by 1.2 million annual visitors. He also said the facility generates $ 11 million a year in tax revenue for the state.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the St. Louis Aldermen’s Council has approved the issuance of $ 64 million of bonds and that the Blues ownership group plans to disburse $ 50 million over the years. Next 20 to 30 years.
Zimmerman’s March Package notes that the city-owned Scottrade Center was funded and maintained 95 percent by Kiel Center Partners, the entity that owns the Blues franchise and rents and operates Scottrade and the Peabody Opera House.
The package says that across four different ownership groups, including the current group led by Tom Stillman, private investment in the facility by Kiel Center Partners has been around $ 180 million.