A vote in St. Louis has been cast in favor of a proposed MLS stadium, as the Board of Alderman have pledged $60 million toward the facility.
By a 19-7 margin, the Board of Alderman advanced the proposal for a new stadium. As part of the funding package, the group SC STL will be expected to commit $95 million toward the facility’s cost.
Friday’s vote allows the plan to move forward, but several steps remain before the project could be completed. The city must petition the circuit court by February 21 to have the language from Friday’s vote placed on the ballot for voters. That would allow for an April referendum in which St. Louis voters would weigh in on whether to fund the stadium, and that plan has some connections to a vote on a half-cents sales tax increase to fund a MetroLink expansion and other projects within the city.
Both the stadium and sales tax bills cleared the Board of Aldermen today, and are expected to be sign by St. Louis mayor Francis Slay. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The tax bill’s sponsor, 6th Ward Alderman Christine Ingrassia estimates the tax increase could generate as much as $20 million a year. The Slay administration will petition a judge to put the sales tax on the April 4 ballot.
Should voters approve the measure, the city would issue bonds to finance different economic development projects.
The mayor’s plans call for 60 percent of the tax revenue to go toward the study, planning, federal matching funds and eventual construction of a roughly 8-mile MetroLink expansion running from Fairground Park in the north to Cherokee Street on the city’s south side.
The remaining 40 percent of the revenue would be split into 10 percent increments to fund various projects in four categories: workforce development, neighborhood revitalization, public safety and infrastructure.
St. Louis was one of 12 cities to be represented in bids for an MLS expansion franchise this week. The earliest cities from this round of expansion will be awarded a team is 2020.
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