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Labor Plays Ball to Get Stadium

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

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Union construction crews have agreed to work around the clock without overtime to build a new NFL stadium in St. Louis if the project goes forward.

About 100 skilled construction workers representing three unions attended a press conference Friday (Feb. 20) as Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced the labor agreement, which he said would shave about $40 million from the proposed $985 million redevelopment on the city's distressed north riverfront.


Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (back to camera) greets reps of St. Louis unions that have agreed to work around the clock without overtime to build an NFL stadiuma $40 million concession, Nixon said.

“Missouri workers have always been the driving force behind our economic growth, because they show up early, stay late and get the job done,” said Nixon, who was accompanied by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.

Nixon said the 64,000-seat stadium and redevelopment project could be completed in two years with the 24-hour, five-day-a-week construction plan.

Just days earlier, Nixon announced that utility Ameren Corp. and the Terminal Railroad Assocation had agreed to relocate critical infrastructure—transmission towers, power lines and Amtrak tracks—to accommodate the stadium project.

The extraordinary concessions were part of a last-ditch effort to keep the former Los Angeles Rams from returning to their hometown, where they played from 1946 to 1994.


Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon spread the word about the agreement on Twitter.

The Rams and the NFL are unhappy with the team's current home, the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams told St. Louis officials last month that the team would be switching to a year-to-year lease. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in December that no team would be moving to Los Angeles before 2016.

(The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have also expressed interest in moving to L.A.)

L.A. Story

In January, Rams billionaire owner Stan Kroenke told the Los Angeles Times that he was working with the owners of Hollywood Park to build an 80,000-seat NFL stadium and 6,000-seat entertainment venue about 10 miles from Los Angeles International Airport in a new development called the City of Champions Revitalization Project.

"Hollywood Park" by Doc Searls / CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

A development group that includes Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced plans in January to build an 80,000-seat stadium on the site of the old Hollywood Park Racetrack.

Kroenke bought a 60-acre site next to the nearly-300-acre Hollywood Park tract last year. The site already boasts two lakes, retail, residential, office and hotel space. The stadium would be built on the old Hollywood Park Racetrack site, which closed in 2013.

Last week, Inglewood Mayor James Butts announced that the stadium project owners had acquired enough voter signatures to put the project on the ballot, and a public hearing is scheduled for this week

St. Louis Shuffle

The West Coast activity clearly ratcheted up the pressure in St. Louis.


The Los Angeles Farmers Field stadium proposal will go before voters in Inglewood, CA.

City and state officials were able to hammer out and announce the infrastructure agreement on Feb. 10 and the concessions by the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, the Eastern Missouri Laborers’ District Council, and the Carpenters District Council of Greater St. Louis just nine days later.

Officials said the agreements were the result of efforts by two business leaders appointed by the governor in November to develop options for the project.

“This project is about more than football and franchises," Nixon said Thursday.

St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council

The St. Louis Building Trades Council, which dates to 1864, is an AFL-CIO-chartered coalition of more than a dozen skilled trades, from bricklayers to sheet metal workers.

"It’s about revitalizing a distressed area, creating good jobs and expanding economic opportunities for workers and families across the region."

The commitment from labor groups "demonstrates once again how Missouri’s skilled, experienced and organized workforce gives us a tremendous competitive advantage,” the governor said.


Tagged categories: Commercial Construction; Construction; Contracts; Infrastructure; Labor; North America; Program/Project Management; Rail; Stadiums/Sports Facilities; Transmission Towers; Unions

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