Thanks to a judge’s ruling, the St. Louis Rams are one step closer to fleecing the residents of St. Louis for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Ever since Rams owner Stan Kroenke started dangling the idea of moving his team to L.A. over the heads of fans and politicians, there’s been a mad rush to approve the construction of a new stadium that would hopefully keep the Rams in St. Louis. This push for a new stadium involved the public entity that controls the Rams’ current home, the Edward Jones Dome, suing the city in an effort to invalidate an ordinance requiring a vote to approve any use of public funds for the construction of a stadium. Today, St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Thomas Frawley ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Frawley agreed with the plaintiffs’ argument that the ordinance was too vague and ambiguous to be enforced, and his ruling essentially invalidates the existing law.

A task force led by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recently unveiled plans to build a new stadium that would cost nearly $1 billion, with almost $400 million of those costs being covered by public funds. Stan Kroenke, who is worth more than $6 billion, is now one step closer to pulling nearly half-a-billion dollars out of the pockets of St. Louis residents without even asking. The craziest part is that Kroenke—whose leverage over St. Louis is greatly diminished by the fact that the Raiders and Chargers are ahead of him in line for a move to L.A.—didn’t even have to fight this battle himself, because the stadium authority was happy to do it for him. Never forget that stadium financing is one of the biggest scams in America.

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[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

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