Scottrade Center Lawsuit Narrows After Plaintiffs Drop Two Counts

By on December 1, 2017

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  Opponents of a $64 million arena financing agreement between the city of St. Louis and Blues hockey owners dropped portions of their lawsuit Wednesday, the same day the judge presiding over the case heard arguments from team attorneys to dismiss even more parts of the suit.

Attorneys for the Blues asked St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Joan Moriarty to dismiss two claims made by plaintiffs over enforcement of the 1992 agreement between the city and team owners Kiel Center Partners. Blues attorney JoAnn Sandifer said plaintiffs can’t try to enforce a contract they are not a party to, even if it does involve public money.

“Even as taxpayers, they have no standing” to enforce the contract, Sandifer said.

The plaintiffs suing to block the financing agreement are 20th Ward Alderman Cara Spencer, former state Rep. Jeanette Oxford and former city counselor James Wilson.

Plaintiffs cited language in the original lease requiring the Blues to pay the city if St. Louis pays for “maintenance, repairs and improvements” to Scottrade Center. They also cite language that says the city would not provide any funds to maintain Scottrade Center.

Spencer’s attorney, Erich Vieth, said the lawsuit isn’t trying to enforce the contract, but rather to call out potentially illegal consequences of the agreement passed in February. Opting not to collect money the Blues would potentially owe the city under the 1992 contract counts as a “massive transfer of wealth,” Vieth said.

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