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Parson names 3 new members to authority that oversees St. Louis football stadium

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Sunset in St. Louis

The sun sets behind the Downtown skyline in St. Louis on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. At left is the Dome and America's Center convention center complex. Photo by Colter Peterson, cpeterson@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Friday named three new members to the board that oversees The Dome at America’s Center. The appointments come as that board, St. Louis and St. Louis County negotiate to divvy up about $500 million from the recent court settlement over the Rams’ move to Los Angeles.

All five of the state’s appointees to the 11-member Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority that owns the Dome were serving on expired terms.

But the usually low-profile board is back in the public eye after it, the city and the county in November settled a 2017 lawsuit with the NFL and the Rams for $790 million.

With the law firms representing the local governments getting 35% of the settlement, or $276.5 million, the city, county and Dome authority get to share $513.5 million.

Parson appointed Joseph Blanner, of the Eureka area, to fill one of the spots. Blanner is an attorney with Chesterfield-based McCarthy, Leonard & Kaemmerer. Another one of that firm’s attorneys, Andrew Leonard, chairs the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, which runs the downtown America’s Center convention complex and has an operating lease with the RSA to use the Dome for events and conventions. The two entities in the past week extended their agreement by two years, to 2030.

Another new Parson appointee, Chrissy Nardini, of Creve Coeur, is president of American Metals Supply. She is also the president of the board of governors for SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation and a board member of BackStoppers, which supports the families of area police and firefighters hurt or killed on the job.

Dave Spence, Parson’s third pick, is chairman of Legacy Packaging and a board member of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. Spence, of Ladue, has served on the boards of the Regional Business Council and the St. Louis Sports Commission, which leads efforts to attract sporting events to the region. He ran for Missouri governor as a Republican in 2012.

The three picks need to be confirmed by the Missouri Senate. The next two of the governor’s picks must be city residents, according to state statute.

Parson also has the ability to appoint the chairman of the RSA, a post currently held by former St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Jim Shrewsbury, who was appointed by former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

Shrewsbury has said he welcomes Parson picking a new slate for the RSA board and that he hopes the settlement reminds the state, city and county to pay attention to the RSA, which he said can can “do a lot of good for the metropolitan area and the state.”

The RSA receives $4 million a year for upkeep and maintenance on the Dome, half from the state and $1 million each from the city and the county. The agreement for those maintenance payments expires in 2024.

Some of the money from the settlement is expected to go to a maintenance fund for the Dome, which is less than 30 years old and is used for conventions and events. The CVC has done studies over the years about the building’s needs and upgrades that could make it easier to market for events and conventions.

Both the city and the county get three appointees on the Dome board, and they have also moved to put new faces there since the settlement.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones recently appointed Sherita Haigler, who works as a vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at the United Way of Greater St. Louis.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has appointed one of his predecessors, longtime County Executive Charlie Dooley, as well as Amy Fisher, a business executive with a recruiting agency.

Mark Schlinkmann of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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