Key Votes Ahead for Charlotte MLS Proposal

Proposed Memorial Stadium renovation

This week will include crucial votes for Charlotte‘s MLS proposal, as the city and county are expected to weigh in on the stadium’s funding model. 

Separate votes will be conducted this week by the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, both of which have been asked to contribute to a new MLS stadium that will be constructed on the current site of Memorial Stadium and the Grady Cole Center. New terms for the plan were released late last week, revealing that the two governing bodies were being asked to contribute $43.75 million–rather than the originally proposed $50 million–for a $175 million stadium.

Mecklenburg County, which would own the stadium, is set to conduct a public hearing on Tuesday and vote during a retreat on Thursday. The city, meanwhile, will vote on Friday, a decision that was announced by mayor Jennifer Roberts amidst some controversy during a Monday meeting. More from The Charlotte Observer:

Because the meeting was running late, Roberts said council members could email staff members their questions about the stadium this week.

After having their questions answered by email, city staff has proposed council members take a final vote on funding the stadium Friday afternoon – four days after first hearing about the details.

That prompted an angry response from council member Patsy Kinsey, who represents the Elizabeth neighborhood where the stadium would be built.

“We should talk about this as a group,” Kinsey said. “We shouldn’t be picked off one by one.”

According to The Observer, the county’s contribution will come from the general fund, while the city will use revenue from its tourism tax.  For MLS backers Bruton and Marcus Smith, the timing of the votes comes at a key point, as applications for expansion are due at the end of this month.

RELATED STORIES: Charlotte MLS Stadium Proposal RevisedCharlotte MLS Plan Calls for Memorial Stadium DemolitionMemorial Stadium Renovation Plans on HoldCharlotte Independence Upping MLS BidCharlotte Memorial Stadium Renovation Receives Key EndorsementCharlotte: We’re Ready for MLS; Independence: We’ll Pay $8M Toward Memorial Stadium Renovations; Independence to Propose Memorial Stadium Overhaul;  Charlotte Emerging as MLS City?

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