This week, a St. Louis Board of Aldermen committee will hold a hearing to discuss a new St. Louis MLS stadium proposal to house an expansion team.
A St. Louis MLS expansion pitch led by members of Enterprise Holding’s Taylor family and World Wide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh is proposing the construction of a new soccer-specific stadium at a site west of Union Station. The group has indicated that it is prepared to pay $250 million in cash for the downtown stadium’s construction, but is seeking a series of tax incentives as part of the overall funding model and is calling for public ownership of the facility.
That proposal is set to be discussed by the board’s Housing, Urban Development and Zoning committee, which will hold a hearing on the issue Wendesday morning. The committee, chaired by Central West End Alderman Joe Roddy, is expected to discuss some concerns about the current plan, including potential public ownership of the stadium. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Roddy said his committee would, among other things, pick up the debate over stadium ownership that began last week. Some aldermen, eyeing multimillion-dollar, city-funded upgrades at other downtown sports facilities, have argued that the ownership group — World Wide Technology co-founder and CEO Jim Kavanaugh and Enterprise Holdings’ Taylor family — rather than the city, should own the building.
Roddy cautioned that there was no panacea for aging stadiums. They get old, and the city has to deal with the repairs, in some form or another.
“There’s no such thing as forever,” Roddy said.
And he said he liked this deal, as currently proposed. An as-of-yet-unreleased city analysis gave the project a high score, he said, with new tax revenue largely coming from city visitors, not residents.
St. Louis’s latest effort comes after the previous proposal stalled when city voters rejected a ballot question in April 2017 that called for $60 million in public funding for a new stadium. The current expansion pitch uses a different funding concept, but calls for the same site to be used for the stadium.
For now backers of the St. Louis bid are looking to boost their chances, but where the proposal will ultimately stand in MLS expansion remains to be seen. There are still plenty of uncertainties surrounding the next round of expansion, as the league has yet to come forward with many firm details. We took a closer look at the field of candidates two weeks ago.
Rendering by HOK reflects stadium proposal from previous bid.
RELATED STORIES: Aldermen Raise Concerns Over St. Louis MLS Stadium Ownership; Board Approves Tax Incentives for St. Louis MLS Stadium; St. Louis MLS Stadium Funding Model Unveiled; Option on Potential St. Louis MLS Stadium Site Extended; New St. Louis MLS Bid Announced; St. Louis MLS Expansion Talks Back on the Table; St. Louis MLS Stadium Funding Voted Down