Exterior photo of the Scottrade Center. Home of the St. Louis Blues. 

Image Credit: Loco Steve - Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Now that the dust has settled from the St. Louis Rams vacancy, St. Louis city officials and the St. Louis Blues organization are lobbying for multi-million dollar renovations to the Scottrade Center. Many area residents and St. Louis Blues fans won't argue that the arena is in need of a little tender, love and care. However, the city's taxpayers are going to end up footing the majority of the renovation costs which has become a common theme in America's professional sports leagues.

The city of St. Louis, who owns the Scottrade Center, would contribute nearly $68 million to help jump start the renovation project. Those funds will come from a 1% tax that will be added to ticket sales, retail and concessions at the arena as well as the current sales taxes generated at the arena. The estimated renovation costs will be in the neighborhood of $150 million total which is exponentially cheaper than what a brand new arena would cost to build. The Scottrade Center was constructed for $170 million when it first opened in 1994; the same year that the Chicago Blackhawks debuted at the United Center.

Potential upgrades that have been discussed include 

  • Brand new seats throughout the arena.
  • A brand new scoreboard and sound system.
  • Upgrades to the lighting features.
  • Improvements to the players' locker rooms. 
  • Improvements to the concession stands and concourses.
  • An enclosed beer garden for fans.

After completion, St. Louis Blues ownership would then be obligated to provide $50 million for other renovations over the next 20-30 years.  During the summer of 2016, the St. Louis Blues organization made improvements to the water system, pumps and pipes that help orchestrate the ice for Blues home games. That particular project costed the organization $10 million. 

Essentially what St. Louis taxpayers are witnessing is a serious case of "keeping up with the Jones'". The Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders and Vegas Golden Knights all have brand new home arenas. The Arizona Coyotes, Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings all likely have new home arenas on the way as well. Officials that book concerts, college basketball games and other events have warned that the Scottrade Center is out of date and is in need of a face-lift if the city wants to continue to attract these types of events in the future. The St. Louis Blues are profitable but are one of the least profitable teams in the National Hockey League. The renovations are necessary if the city wants to keep the team in St. Louis and if the team is going to remain competitive with the rest of the National Hockey League. 




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