The St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Friday granted initial approval to a plan to issue bonds for a $175 million upgrade of the city’s downtown convention venue, America’s Center.
The project would add 92,000 square feet of convention space, a new ballroom, green space and 26 loading docks.
Currently, St. Louis, St. Louis County and the state combine to pay $24 million annually to service debt issued in 1991 to build the Dome at America’s Center, which served as the home of the NFL’s Rams before they moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016. That debt is scheduled to be paid off in 2021.
The new plan would essentially extend the city and county’s payments of $6 million annually for up to 40 years.
The plan hinges on the St. Louis County Council authorizing the same financing. Both St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger have endorsed the project.