America’s Center is a multi-purpose facility which includes the Cervantes Convention Center (originally constructed in 1977 with a major expansion completed in 1993), the Dome and the St. Louis Executive Conference Center (constructed in 1993). America’s Center is one of the largest convention centers in the United States. The 2,700,000 square foot facility includes 502,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 28,000 square foot grand ballroom, 96 meeting rooms and a 1,400 seat lecture hall. The Edward Jones Dome, which adjoins the Cervantes Convention Center, is a convention/stadium facility with an approximately 67,000-seat capacity and is home of the St. Louis Rams NFL football team. More information about the America’s Center is available here.
Convention and Visitors Commission
America’s Center is maintained, operated and managed on an integrated basis by the CVC. The CVC’s primary sources of revenue are the proceeds of taxes imposed within the City and the County on the amount of sales or charges for all sleeping rooms paid by transient guests of hotels and motels, and the rents and revenues from the America’s Center complex. A 3.75% tax on such rooms (the “Convention and Tourism Tax”) imposed by the CVC is collected by the City and the County on behalf of the CVC and is remitted directly to the CVC. An additional 3.5% tax on such rooms (the “Sports and Entertainment Tax”) imposed by each of the City and the County is subject to annual appropriation by the City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen and the St. Louis County Council. Historically, the City and the County have used a majority of the proceeds of the Sports and Entertainment Tax to satisfy their respective obligations to make Base Rental Payments and Preservation Payments pursuant to the Financing Agreement. The CVC is statutorily obligated to apply the portion of the Sports and Entertainment Tax appropriated to it by the City and the County to fund costs associated with the Dome and for other convention and tourism purposes.
Because America’s Center is not self-supporting, the CVC relies on the revenues from the Convention and Tourism Tax and the Sports and Entertainment Tax to fund its operations, including the costs of operating and maintaining the Dome. Under Missouri law, the proceeds of the Sports and Entertainment Tax that are not needed to satisfy Base Rental Payments or Preservation Payments may not be appropriated or paid for any purpose except to fund the CVC (so long as the CVC is managing operations of the Dome) or the Authority.
The CVC acts through a commission of eleven members, five of whom are appointed by the Mayor of the City (with the approval of the Board of Aldermen), five of whom are appointed by the County Executive of the County, and one of whom is appointed by the Governor of the State from a panel of three nominees submitted jointly by the Mayor of the City and the County Executive of the County. Upon the occurrence of an Event of NonAppropriation or Event of Default under the Financing Agreement with respect to a Sponsor, those members of the CVC who were appointed by that Sponsor are disqualified from voting on any matter, action or resolution to come before the CVC and from participating in any of the business of the CVC so long as an Event of NonAppropriation or Event of Default continues with respect to such Sponsor.
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