Like many that care deeply for our region, the St. Louis Regional Chamber is disappointed with the statements made about St. Louis by the Rams ownership in its relocation request to the National Football League. While we understand that criticizing the region and providing isolated statistics out of context is a negotiating tactic, the Chamber expected better from an organization that enjoyed the strong support of St. Louisans for 20 years and that represented our region in the NFL and across the country.
Greater St. Louis is one of the largest economies in the U.S., hosting the headquarters of six of America’s largest private companies, 19 Fortune 1000 headquarters and ranking as the 20th largest U.S. metro area for both total employment and total personal income. It is no coincidence that we also rank 20th out of the 32 NFL markets in these categories, and we rank similarly in the size of our media market and are well below the NFL average in terms of cost of living, which increases our market’s purchasing power. And far from being “struggling” compared to all other U.S. cities, St. Louis is experiencing an entrepreneurial renaissance, recently ranking first in the world for growth in tech venture capital investment and being named one of the best start-up cities in America.
In key demographic categories, St. Louis is comparable to the Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, among others. It is worth noting that, like St. Louis, all of these regions successfully support three professional teams.
The Regional Chamber’s analysis has shown that being an NFL city is economically important to St. Louis. The proposed stadium will produce significant positive economic, fiscal and qualitative impacts for our region, creating jobs and ensuring St. Louis remains a major league center for sports. We look forward to the National Football League ownership’s favorable review of the stadium proposal in the coming weeks.