- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A judge will decide whether a public vote is necessary on funding the construction of a new football stadium in downtown St. Louis, after hearing arguments in the case.

It’s not known when St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Thomas Frawley will make his decision, though several attorneys said after a Thursday hearing that they expect a ruling soon, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1dkL2ip ) reported.

At issue is a 2002 city ordinance that requires a public vote before using tax dollars on the replacement of the Edward Jones Dome, where the Rams play.

A public board that operates the dome had claimed in its lawsuit against the city that the law is “overly broad, vague and ambiguous.” The board wants the court to rule that law doesn’t apply, conflicts with Missouri statutes or is unconstitutional.

But city officials contend that the ordinance is valid and doesn’t contradict state law.

Proponents of a new stadium hope for a quick ruling, since Gov. Jay Nixon’s stadium task force is relying on the city to pay for some of the bonds needed to build the proposed $985 million open-air, riverfront arena.

If Frawley rules that St. Louis residents must vote before that money can be spent, the city and task force will have to scramble to get the measure on the ballot. Also, if residents vote down the measure, many anticipate that the National Football League to approve the St. Louis Rams owner move to Los Angeles.

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

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