Another stadium plan is in the works in St. Louis, as the group MLS2STL has unveiled a proposal for a downtown soccer-specific facility.
The stadium’s location is a 30-acre parcel just west of Union Station, which the City of St. Louis has obtained an option to purchase. As is proposed, the stadium would open in 2020 or 2021 and seat 20,000 fans. While the land is still being appraised, the anticipated cost of the stadium is $200 million about 60% of which would be privately financed.
According to MLS2STL vice chariman Jim Kavanaugh, the remainder of the cost would come from a public contribution. Such a contribution would have to be approved by St. Louis voters, who could weigh in on the issue by this spring. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Voters could be asked to put $80 million in public money toward a 20,000-seat stadium, not including a potential land purchase west of Union Station. That amount could be lower depending on financial assistance from the state, Kavanaugh said.
The issue could be on the municipal election ballot April 4. Terms of the ballot proposition would have to be vetted by public commissions and ultimately voted on by the Board of Aldermen, the ownership group said.
“That vote would likely need to be taken before being awarded a team,” Kavanaugh said Thursday by phone.
MLS2STL includes businessman Paul Edgerley as its lead owner, along with Terry Matlack, former Anheuser-Busch president Dave Peacock, and a group of investors. The group is one of two in St. Louis to have proposed a stadium for an MLS expansion franchise, as Foundry St. Louis recently unveiled a concept for a stadium in Midtown. In a recent statement, MLS commissioner Don Garber offered some supportive comments regarding the MLS2STL plan:
“With its rich soccer heritage, St. Louis has always been a market of great interest to Major League Soccer and SC STL is the ideal ownership group that will provide St. Louis the best opportunity for a future expansion team,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.
“We have had very productive meetings with lead investor Paul Edgerley and his partners and will continue to do so as they work to bring an expansion team to St. Louis. Their downtown site is the ideal location for a new stadium and we look forward to helping them make it a reality.”
Given the timing of the facility’s opening, St. Louis is positioning itself to compete for a spot in future rounds of expansion that could include Sacramento, Cincinnati, Nashville, San Antonio, Detroit, San Diego, and more.
Images courtesy HOK.
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