County Port Authority to Pay $2M to Fund Blues Practice Facility

By on April 16, 2018

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  St. Louis County may no longer be driving the plan to build a new ice facility where the St. Louis Blues will practice, but one of its economic development boards will still contribute $2 million toward the project.

The St. Louis County Port Authority on Tuesday approved the commitment to the city of Maryland Heights to help build the $78.5 million, four-rink ice sports complex. The Port Authority will pay $500,000 per year over the next four years to help finance the complex. The Port Authority had about $6 million in revenue last year, almost all of it from rent paid by the River City Casino in Lemay.

The complex is expected to cater to youth hockey and other ice sports, attracting tournaments and providing a place for the Blues to practice. The team currently practices at a rink at the nearly vacant St. Louis Outlet Mall in Hazelwood.

Originally, St. Louis County, the Port Authority and other economic development agencies pushed to build the facility in Creve Coeur Lake Park, but the county required federal approval before committing park land for the mostly indoor facility.

With federal officials indicating approval would not be granted, the St. Louis Legacy Ice Foundation, the nonprofit leading the ice complex project, backed out late last year and began working with the city of Maryland Heights on the project.

Now, the complex is slated for land near the Hollywood Casino and, when finished, the complex will be owned by the city of Maryland Heights.

“This is truly, 100 percent a regional facility,” Maryland Heights City Administrator Jim Krischke told the Port Authority Board on Tuesday.

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