What needs to go to make room for a new stadium

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) – It's the grand plan to keep the NFL in St. Louis-- a 64,000 seat, open-air stadium along the Mississippi River.

The plan is still preliminary, but in order to build the stadium in the proposed location, a lot of things would have to be torn down.

John Reinsch's family business wraps cars and makes signs.

"Since August 1983," said Reinsch.

So, he can easily recognize the writing on the wall-- his company "Sonn Signs" is smack dab in the path of the proposed stadium and parking plans. So, how worried is he?

"Not at all," he said.

If the plan, devised by Governor Jay Nixon's two-man task force, falls into place, John believes he'll be bought out and could move his parents' company out of the early 1900s building.

"We're assuming that we'll be treated fairly and, you know, if that's the case then that should be a good win-win for everybody," said Reinsch.

Well, not exactly, according to Michael Allen.

"The proposed stadium would annihilate a whole swath of historic, cultural and economic resources," said Allen, founder of St. Louis' Preservation Research Office.

The North Riverfront location is about 90 acres, adjacent to Laclede's Landing, just south of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. There are a few businesses, a bar even, but for the most part, an abundance of blight.

But among it, "at least a dozen historic buildings," said Allen.

Like the Cotton Belt Freight Depot, the Laclede Power Building and the newly renovated Hammond Apartments building.

"Most of these buildings aren't being torn down for the stadium itself but for parking," he said. "Reduce the parking footprint of this facility to a point where these buildings are not in the footprint where the parking could be structured and these buildings and a new facility could co-exist."

Because this plan is in such a preliminary stage, and a lot of decisions are yet to be made before there's a green light to break ground, the governor's office says it's too early to weigh in on the preservationist's concerns.


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