Charlotte City Council Expected to Reject MLS Proposal

Proposed Memorial Stadium renovation

The proposal for an MLS stadium in Charlotte is expected to be rejected by the Charlotte City Council, as some members are expressing doubt about the plan. 

The latest news comes as Charlotte City Council council member Ed Driggs weighs in on the plan. In comments to the Charlotte Observer, Driggs said that while he has not finalized his decision, he has plenty of doubts about the proposal and is currently inclined to reject it. This comes as the city council is slated to vote this week on whether to allocate $43.75 million in tourism tax dollars toward the construction of a $175 million facility.

With applications from MLS expansion candidates due at the end of this month, several other members of the city council are expressing their issues with the proposal. As it stands, it would be enough dissent for the funding measure to be rejected by the council, according to the Observer:

Driggs said his support for spending $43.75 million is “not looking good.”

On Wednesday, five council members said they are either against the stadium or said they are likely voting against it: Democrats Julie Eiselt, Patsy Kinsey, Al Austin, Claire Fallon and Republican Kenny Smith.

 If those five vote no, along with Driggs, that would be a majority of the 11-member council.

The city will conduct a public hearing on Friday, and is expected to weigh in on the proposal after hearing comments. It is not the only governing body that will consider the proposal from MLS backers Bruton and Marcus Smith, as Mecklenburg County is expected to vote on whether it will also contribute $43.75 million from its general fund to the project.

While its contribution matches the city’s, Mecklenburg County would also own the stadium, which is slated to occupy the current site of Memorial Stadium and the Grady Cole Center. The county conducted its own public hearing on Tuesday, and is currently expected to issue its decision on stadium funding on Thursday.

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