SC STL Announces Community Benefits Agreement

MLS St. Louis Stadium rendering

On Tuesday, SC STL unveiled a community benefits agreement that would take effect if a new MLS stadium is constructed in St. Louis

SC STL is the group behind the city’s MLS expansion bid, which includes a plan for a new stadium. The facility could receive $60 million in city funding, if voters approve two ballot initiatives in the municipal election on April 4.

The community benefits agreement outlines the initiatives SC STL will implement if the stadium is built. Among the more notable terms of the agreement include plans for SC STL to partner with workforce development organizations, provide funding to youth soccer programs in the region, donate equipment to city schools, guarantee community appearances from team members throughout the season, and to hold youth soccer camps throughout the area.

The agreement would be subject to oversight from a five-member committee. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The agreement would be governed by a five-person committee representing the owners, the city’s director of human services, the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, the St. Louis Downtown Neighborhood Association, and one member to be appointed jointly by SC STL and the city. The committee would produce an annual report detailing yearly activities, and SC STL would pay the cost of preparing the report.

Although the Cardinals and Blues support similar charitable causes in the city, Mayor Francis Slay said the agreement would be the first of its kind with a St. Louis sports team. Slay, who leaves office this year, said such community benefits agreements should be included in future city financing partnerships beyond sports.

“I’m expecting this will become a stand-in example for future agreements,” Slay said at a news conference at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis.

SC STL also would give away 100 tickets per home game to city youth organizations, and St. Louis Public Schools, and the city would have a number of opportunities to host amateur sporting events and community activities at the stadium. SC STL also said the stadium would be built with “sustainable construction materials” under the guidelines of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program.

The April referendum will ask voters to consider Proposition 1 and Proposition 2, both of which will need to pass in order for funding for the stadium to be approved. Proposition 1, if approved, would allow for a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for a MetroLink expansion, while Proposition 2 would permit an increase in the business use tax to help cover the city’s contribution to the stadium. St. Louis is one of 12 contenders currently in the mix for an MLS expansion franchise.

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