Aldermen President Reed talks MLS stadium project, Scottrade Center upgrades, Mayoral race

St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed

Lewis Reed, President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen and Democratic candidate for Mayor of St. Louis, joined The Writers’ Block on Friday.

Reed discussed the proposed MLS stadium bill’s progress, the potential MetroLink expansion, proposed upgrades to Scottrade Center and his mayoral campaign, among other topics.

Read some excerpts and listen to the full interview below:

What are the next steps for the St. Louis MLS stadium bill?

“It came out of committee. Monday, we have a makeup day, a special meeting for the Board of Aldermen. That’s when we’ll make any (changes we may have to it). Then it’ll go to the third reading calendar this Friday. If it finally passes Friday, it’ll go to the mayor’s office for a signature and then be assigned a date for an election, which more then likely would be in April.”

What are the complications with the Scottrade Center renovations proposal?

“The members of the committee have brought up various ideas of funding it…other than the proposal we currently we have. We are still trying to flush them out…we didn’t have all (of the background) info we needed…to move forward, so I chose to hold it in committee and bring it back up for discussion after we get those various pieces of information.”

“You look at Scottrade Center…the thing has generated over $100 million in taxes for St. Louis over its lifetime. As it’s landlord, we’ve put zero back into the repair and maintenance of the building. The Blues ownership groups…have put in nearly $240 million in upkeep and maintenance. Blues hockey only occupies about 40 percent of the events. The majority of the people who come to Scottrade don’t live in the city. The NCAA and others have been clear the building is no longer in shape to compete (with facilities in other cities). There’s a lot to lose there. If we don’t upgrade it, we’re going to see (millions in tax revenue lost). We’re trying to find a way to make these needed upgrades so we can stay competitive (with as little impact on the city’s general revenue budget as possible). Something has to be done with Scottrade Center if we want to stay relevant in that marketplace”