Committee Amends St. Louis MLS Stadium Funding Bill

St. Louis MLS stadium rendering

Funding for an MLS stadium in St. Louis took another step on Wednesday, as an aldermanic committee approved an amendment to the proposal.

On Wednesday, the Ways and Means committee took a closer look at a bill that calls for $60 million in city funds toward the construction of a new downtown stadium for an MLS expansion franchise. Current estimates call for the group SC STL to pay $95 toward the facility.

While the language of the deal is taking shape, it must still receive final approval from the full St. Louis Board of Alderman and then advance to a voter referendum in April. In a step toward those decisions, the Ways and Means committee authorized a bill that includes an amendment relating to a proposed ticket tax. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Meanwhile, the soccer stadium financing agreement putting $60 million in public money toward the project was approved 4-3. SC STL, the group of investors aiming to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to St. Louis, would pay $95 million for the stadium, as well as pick up any shortfalls in city revenue going toward the payments, construction cost overruns and maintenance of the facility for 30 years.

Amendments to the stadium financing deal include payments to the city from team owners in lieu of a 2.5 percent ticket tax. Levying the tax would adversely affect city revenue because of a special taxing district that already includes the stadium site. Team owners agreed to pay the city the equivalent of that levy.

City officials estimate the payments in lieu of a ticket tax would be $7.5 million to $12 million over the next 30 years, depending on ticket pricing and sales. An additional $15 million will come from the existing tax-increment finance district overlapping the site, which currently benefits developer Paul McKee’s NorthSide project. McKee agreed to share a portion of his project’s tax revenue with the city.

The committee also advanced a proposal that calls for city funds to be used in a renovation of the Scottrade Center, home of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues. We covered that story on our sister site, Arena Digest.

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