ST. . LOUIS - St. Louis upped its bid Friday to either keep the Rams or lure a new NFL team, unveiling plans for a new open-air football stadium on the banks of the Mississippi River, not far from the Gateway Arch.The 64,000-seat stadium would cost $860 million to $985 million, with construction beginning in 2016 and ending by 2020.The proposal was announced by attorney Robert Blitz and former Anheuser-Busch president David Peacock, a team appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in November to develop the plan.The NFL and the team would be responsible for up to half the cost of the stadium, while some funding would come from tax credits and other public financing, including possibly extending current bonds used to pay off the Edward Jones Dome, where the Rams play. But city and state leaders have long said there is no appetite for again tapping taxpayers, which is reflected in the plan that calls for no new taxes or bonds. Seat licensing fees would also help pay for the project.Its more than just a football stadium, Peacock said. Were talking about a continuation of the revitalization of our downtown.St. Louis is trying to avoid becoming a two-time loser of NFL franchises, as the Cardinals left for Arizona in 1987. Blitz said Nixon sought a new stadium plan so that this history does not repeat itself here in St. Louis.The Edward Jones Dome is outdated by NFL standards despite being just 20 years old. Negotiations over improvements to the dome — which was built with taxpayer money — went nowhere in recent years. The Rams 30-year lease will be on a year-to-year basis starting next season because of a clause that the stadium be among the top quarter of NFL venues.Speculation is rampant in St. Louis that Rams owner Stan Kroenke will move the team to Los Angeles, the nations second-largest market, in 2016. The league has said no team movement will be allowed this year. Those concerns escalated Monday when Kroenke was announced as part of a joint venture building an 80,000-seat stadium in the Los Angeles suburbs.The new stadium plan has been shared with NFL officials and the Rams, Peacock said, but he has not spoken directly with Kroenke. Phone messages left with Kroenkes office were not returned.The Rams said in a statement that theyll review the new plan and speak with states stadium task force, and added that the team has worked for many years, with several agencies and commissions, and their senior management, responsible for stadium facilities in St. Louis.St. Louis city leaders have been frustrated with Kroenke, saying hes refused to return their calls. Much of the effort to either keep the team or attract another is being conducted directly with the league, not the team or Kroenke.City leaders and civic boosters say St. Louis has a compelling argument to remain an NFL city: It is the nations 20th largest market, with a loyal fan base that sold out every game from the teams arrival in 1995 until its 11 straight losing seasons — which along with uncertainty about the future — soured some fans.The new stadium would be built in a largely blighted area, making it eligible for various tax credits, Peacock said. Just north of the Gateway Arch on the northwest edge of downtown, the stadium would be surrounded by a 10,000-space parking lot that provides an area for tailgating.The stadium also could help attract a Major League Soccer franchise, Peacock said. The plan also calls for upgrading the Edward Jones Dome, making it more attractive for large conventions.This proposal would not only protect St. Louiss status as an NFL city, it would also provide the opportunity to redevelop underutilized areas of the city and create jobs, Nixon said in a statement Friday.City and state leaders agree there is no appetite for new public funding. Nixon has said no new taxes or fees would be used for the new stadium, but has hinted that the 30-year bonds issued for the domes construction could be extended.The state of Missouri pays $12 million annually toward the debt; the city and St. Louis County pay $6 million each.Peacock and Blitz have NFL ties. Peacock worked directly with the league on advertising and marketing while at Anheuser Busch, and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame advisory board. Blitz was part of the legal team that helped bring the Rams to St. Louis and is legal counsel to the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority.We are an NFL city. We are a deserving NFL city, Peacock said.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL . Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane wanted to stay in Chicago and the Blackhawks wanted to keep the high-scoring forwards in the only NHL uniform they have ever known. . The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists detailed in a report how Russian and international journalists have been harassed and prevented from covering sensitive stories in Sochi such as the abuse of migrant workers and environmental issues.CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Kurt Busch is confident he is in line for his best NASCAR season ever despite a domestic violence case that could keep him off the track.Busch said Tuesday at NASCARs annual media tour he is eager for a resolution to the highly-publicized case involving ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll, who claims Busch assaulted her in his motorhome at Dover International Speedway last September.Driscoll claims Busch slammed her head into a wall three times.Busch has steadfastly denied the allegations, repeating again Tuesday its a matter of seeing through things and understanding truth. He has not been charged by authorities, but the Delaware Attorney Generals office still has the investigation.Busch wouldnt say if hes heard from NASCAR about a possible suspension.We are waiting on the investigation to find a conclusion, Busch said.A court ruling on Driscolls request for a no-contact order is expected any day.Busch said in the meantime, his focus is on the upcoming Daytona 500 and winning the second straight Sprint Cup championship for Stewart-Haas Racing.I feel like 2015 can be the best year that I have ever had with the situation with (crew chief) Tony Gibson and being the second year with the team, Busch said. My years of experience with teams in the second year have always produced the best result.He said he doesnt feel the domestic violence case will be a distraction for him or his teammates.The team has done a great job of preparing the No. 41 cars, Busch said. That is where we cant let the distraction on the outside steer us from where the focus needs to be — and thats running well at Daytona trying to win the 500.Busch appeared in court Jan. 14 over Driscolls request for a no-contact order, where he claimed she is a trained assassin who was dispatched on covert missions around the world. Busch also testified his ex-girlfriend told him she was a mercenary who killed people for a living. He said she showed him picttures of bodies with gunshot wounds and once saw her in a blood-stained dress. . He didnt back off from the claims on Tuesday.What I said, I was under oath, Busch said.Whether Busch is allowed to race this season will likely depend on the outcome of the case. Gene Haas, who hand-picked Busch to drive a car sponsored by Haas, said he believes Buschs testimony and that he will be exonerated. Haas said he hasnt considered suspending his driver.Domestic violence is very serious, but at the same time I do believe in due process, Haas said. At the same time I feel there can be abuses to the system, too.Driscoll has claimed that Busch abuses alcohol and suffers from depression. He denied it and pointed to his performance in the Indianapolis 500 last May, when he ran both the IndyCar race and NASCARs Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, as proof that he has no issues.Obviously it would be difficult to have all of these symptoms and to race at the top levels and finish sixth in the Indy 500 and things like that, Busch said.Haas said he has seen no evidence of Busch having any problems with alcohol or depression.Every time I have been with Kurt Busch at dinner I have never seen him drink, Haas said. On race weekends when Im having a beer, he is having water. I never saw that personally, so I think he is a stable person — and fun person to be around. Those characterizations I dont believe are true.Haas said he doesnt have a backup driver lined up in case Busch is suspended.We will have to address that if we need to. At the moment we are optimistic and were staying with that, Haas said.Busch said he has leaned on his friends at Stewart-Haas Racing to get through the off-track incident, including teammate and co-owner Tony Stewart.Its nice to know that people can see through and understand the actual specifics and truth the environment, Busch said.___Associated Press Writer Randall Chase contributed to this report. ' ' '