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St. Louis to pay $16M for losing bid

ST. LOUIS — An effort to persuade the owner of the Rams to keep his team in Missouri by building a new riverfront stadium not only failed but also left the public on the hook for $16.2 million in expenses.

Most of the money went to a local architecture firm and an assortment of lawyers, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The stadium effort ended Tuesday when NFL owners voted 30-2 to approve a request by owner Stan Kroenke to move the team to Los Angeles.

Instead of playing in a new, $1.1 billion open-air stadium along the Mississippi River, the Rams are expected to move into Kroenke's proposed $2 billion palace, southwest of downtown Los Angeles, by 2019.

In its bid to fend off the move, the public agency that owns the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis paid 22 companies. Architecture firm HOK made more than $10.5 million for its work on the plan, and various law firms made more than $1.6 million.

Gov. Jay Nixon's stadium task force, which guided the dome authority's hiring, faced criticism for how it handled the project. Contracts were awarded without bids — attorneys said the authority wasn't technically a state agency and didn't have to follow state rules. The firm of task force co-chairman Bob Blitz was one of the largest benefactors. Many stadium contractors were also political donors.

Titans tab Mularkey: The Titans are keeping Mike Mularkey as their coach. Tennessee had interviewed Mularkey, 54, its interim coach this season, as well as former Bills coach Doug Marrone, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and its own defensive coordinator, Ray Horton. Keeping Mularkey means Marcus Mariota, the No. 2 pick overall in the 2015 draft, won't have to start over completely next season. "We won't be starting from scratch," said Mularkey, a tight end at Florida in the early '80s and an assistant with the Bucs (1994-95).

Catch not a catch? NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant's between-the-legs touchdown catch against the Bengals last week should not have counted. "I don't think this is a catch. If I just had a blank slate … I would've said no catch," Blandino said. But he also said officials in the AFC wild-card game correctly stuck with their call, saying there was not enough "clear evidence" to overturn it.

Wayne retiring: Reggie Wayne, 37, the longtime Colts receiver who didn't play this season after being released by the Patriots, said he's retiring. The former University of Miami standout is seventh in career NFL catches (1,070) and eighth in receiving yards (14,345).

Browns: John DeFilippo is out after one season as offensive coordinator. Cleveland hired former Bengals offensive coordinator as head coach last week.

Obituary: Former Colts coach and broadcaster Ted Marchibroda died Saturday, the Colts announced. He was 84. Mr. Marchibroda coached the Baltimore Colts from 1975-79, with three straight playoff appearances. After several stops as an assistant, he returned first to the Colts franchise, then to their original city. He had a second stint as Colts coach in 1992-95 and was the first Baltimore Ravens coach in 1996-98 after the original Browns moved there. He also played four seasons as a QB, with the Steelers and Cardinals.

St. Louis to pay $16M for losing bid 01/16/16 [Last modified: Saturday, January 16, 2016 9:09pm]
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