By Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The architects for a proposed new stadium for the St. Louis Rams said they want it to serve as a public meeting place when football isn’t being played.

The stadium would include plazas, gardens, bike trails, a three-story brew pub and an observation deck overlooking the Mississippi River, all designed to give St. Louis fans a new experience, Eli Hoisington, design principal with St. Louis-based HOK architects, told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (

“There’s a trend where everything is luxury, everything is suites now,” he said. “And we put the general die-hard St. Louis fan front-and-center, embedded in the experience.”

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority are working to find funds for a new stadium in an effort to keep Rams owner Stan Kroenke from trying to move the team to another city. Kroenke has proposed building a stadium for the Rams in the Los Angeles area.

Plans for a St. Louis stadium outlined in a request for tax credits last month would require the state to contribute $135 million to help the sports authority make bond payments on the venue, which would cost an estimated $998 million.

Hoisington and marketing principal Lance Cage revealed the stadium’s design to The Post-Dispatch this week. The plans show the arena’s design was influenced by constraints of the site. For example, nearby railways required bridges leading into the stadium and the river made sound and light screens necessary to help barge traffic.

Other plans include grass lawns that could support vehicles, a bike trail west of the stadium and the addition of 21 acres of green space and more than 38 acres of public space.

“It’s on the biggest river in the country,” Hoisington said. “You’ve got flood plain. You’ve got grade changes. But all of those things, from a design perspective, give us an opportunity to do things that are really, really extraordinary.”

Hoisington and Cage said construction could start next February and be completed by June 2019. HOK is updating its presentation for the October NFL owners meeting, where Nixon’s stadium task force is expected to present its full proposal.

“We have to stand by a guaranteed price in about four weeks,” Hoisington said of the fall meeting. “We have to go in front of the NFL owners and say for that $1 billion price tag, we can build that. And we can.”

The emphasis on making the stadium attractive to the general public hasn’t won over some opponents, who say the state shouldn’t take on more debt to support the project.

“It doesn’t change my opinion on how they’re going to pay for it,” said Missouri Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, who has sued to stop the effort and is encouraging legislators to block state funding. “It’s not about the stadium. It’s about the rule of law and the process the governor has to go through to put the people in debt for hundreds of millions of dollars.”


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

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