A St. Louis MLS stadium resolution cleared a hurdle on Wednesday, when it was unanimously approved by a Board of Aldermen committee.
The current 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.
A resolution concerning the proposal was introduced last week, and went before the city Board of Aldermen’s Housing, Urban Development and Zoning committee on Wednesday. After considerable discussion about various aspects of the plan, including the stadium’s exemption from property taxes, the committee voted 8-0 to move the resolution forward. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The proposal, from World Wide Technology chief executive Jim Kavanaugh and Enterprise Holdings’ Taylor family requires no current city taxes to underwrite stadium construction. It creates a 3 percent sales tax on stadium goods, but keeps use taxes, regular sales taxes and earnings taxes in city coffers. And while it exempts the stadium from property taxes, the Market Street site isn’t producing any now, supporters say.
The lack of new property taxes could be a concern of taxing bodies such as the public school district. But speakers in support of the project on Wednesday included Kelvin Adams, superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools, who called the project a “no brainer.”
“There is a high level of trust with the Taylors,” Adams said.
The hearing preceded a vote by the committee on a resolution outlining the tax incentives that would come with a new stadium. After several hours of comments, the committee unanimously approved the resolution.
This is just one step for the resolution, as its approval Wednesday means that it will now go before the full Board of Aldermen. It is expected that the board will take up the resolution on Friday.
While this decision will help advance discussions over St. Louis MLS’s expansion ambitions, it remains to be seen where the bid will stand in the MLS expansion field. 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.
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