St. Louis stadium plans began months before Nixon’s task force

Three St. Louis civic leaders began planning for a new football stadium in the city months before Gov. Jay Nixon’s November announcement that he had formed a task force to focus on the matter.

Retired Anheuser-Busch President Dave Peacock, outgoing mayoral Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford and downtown business association President Doug Woodruff were meeting by at least July of last year about a possible stadium designed to keep the Rams from leaving St. Louis.

The trio began addressing the issue well before Nixon was involved, email records show. They had identified the riverfront north of downtown as a possible site for the stadium three months before the governor announced Peacock and attorney Dave Blitz would form a task force focused on the stadium and five months before plans for the site of the proposed stadium were unveiled.

“We started thinking about it,” Rainford said. “We didn’t spend money. We didn’t commit to anything. That’s what you do when you’re prudent. That’s what you do when you’re doing your job well. You think ahead.”

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