St. Louis Moves Forward with Funding for MLS Stadium

MLS St. Louis Stadium rendering

A final vote awaits, but the St. Louis Board of Alderman agreed on Monday to move forward with a plan to allocate $60 million toward an MLS stadium. 

The question of whether city funding will be available for the stadium has been unanswered for some time. Under the terms proposed late last year, St. Louis would partner with SC STL on a new stadium by contributing $80 million in city funds, with an additional $40 million coming in the form of state tax credits. After the tax credits were removed from the plan, the city reduced its contribution to $60 million.

Officials have been debating that cost for the last few weeks, but agreed on Monday to proceed with the plan. This, however, does not finalize the contribution. Another vote will be held on Friday, only after which could funds for the stadium be authorized by the city. Voter approval is required, so any funds for the stadium would not be truly finalized until St. Louis residents have their say in an April referendum.

The language of the referendum should be settled once the funding has been approved, and a circuit court judge authorizes the project’s placement on the ballot. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The financing agreements for the soccer bill, which also must be approved by the Board of Aldermen, will be discussed at a Wednesday meeting of the Ways and Means Committee. The soccer stadium measure is dependent on passage of two more bills regarding financing details.

The MetroLink sales tax could clear a final vote of the full board on Friday.

Both the MetroLink tax and the stadium measure would need the mayor’s signature, then city attorneys would petition a circuit judge to put the measures on the April 4 ballot. The board missed the 10-week cutoff last week for placing measures directly on the ballot.

The circuit court will have to weigh in on the matter by February 21. St. Louis is one of several cities that is expected to have bids submitted on Tuesday for an MLS expansion team.

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