Marcus Smith Moving Forward with Charlotte MLS Bid

MLSDespite the lack of city funding for a proposed stadium, Charlotte MLS expansion team backer Marcus Smith is submitting a bid to the league. 

Marcus, along with his father Bruton, have been the two leaders of a plan to bring the MLS to Charlotte. The proposal for a new stadium called for the construction of a $175 million facility, with both Charlotte and Mecklenburg County asked to contribute $43.75 million. Last Thursday, the status of the funding was clouded by separate decisions from the two governing bodies. Shortly after Mecklenburg County voted in favor of contributing to the stadium, Charlotte cancelled a vote that was to take place on Friday.

Charlotte’s cancellation of its bid came after some backlash from city officials, with concerns over the cost and pace of the project’s development being cited as particular points of concern for some. On Monday, Marcus Smith confirmed that he will submit his bid anyhow, but wants the city to take time to rethink the proposal. More from The Charlotte Observer:

Smith said in a tweet Monday that he will send in an application and that the city “still has time to consider investment of existing tourism $ in project.”

At news conference Monday afternoon, Speedway Motorsports executive Mike Burch said Smith will ask the city for the original request of $43.75 million. He said he believes council members will ultimately vote for subsidizing the project.

“The city is trying to put forth tourism dollars, and we think this is a great use of those dollars,” Burch said.

Asked whether the bid would move forward if the city votes against subsidizing the stadium – or if they approve a smaller amount of money – Burch said it’s too early to say.

“We have to consider that at the time,” he said.

The city’s contribution was proposed to have come from its tourism tax revenue. Charlotte’s MLS is expected to call for a new stadium that will be built at the current site of Memorial Stadium and the Grady Cole Center.

RELATED STORIES: Charlotte MLS Backers Plot Next Step After City Backs OutMecklenburg County Approves MLS Proposal, City Scraps VoteCharlotte City Council Expected to Reject MLS ProposalKey Votes Ahead for Charlotte MLS ProposalCharlotte 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?

, , , ,

August Publications