Despite a recent setback with a request for state tax credits for the project, St. Louis MLS ownership and city officials are proceeding in the planning process for a new stadium.
Plans for a new St. Louis MLS stadium project, an estimated $461-million endeavor primarily financed through private funds and includes team practice facilities, seemed to hit a stumbling block this week with the cancellation of the Missouri Development Finance Board’s vote on a request for $15 million in state tax credits. It was hoped that $15 million would be approved this week, and be followed by approval of another $15 million installment next month, giving the project $30 million total in tax credits. However, the request could not get a needed sign-off from high-level state officials, who left the door open for consideration of a smaller amount.
While that seemingly dealt a setback to the project, investors in the club and St. Louis officials continue in the planning process, and are pushing for the Missouri Department of Transportation to close highway ramps by early February to allow work on the stadium to begin. Club ownership indicates it was surprised by the cancellation of this week’s vote, but is not saying much else on the issue, while the city remains hopeful that state officials will reconsider the request. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Earlier this week, when a Missouri Development Finance Board meeting on some of the credits was abruptly canceled, the ownership group said the state board “did not consult with us in making the decision to cancel the meeting, so we’re not sure why it was canceled.” The owners, led by World Wide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh and the Taylor family of rental car giant Enterprise Holdings, have not said anything following the news that Parson’s administration scuttled the state help.
The state could still approve a package of state aid closer to $6 million next month.
During a conversation with reporters on Wednesday, Mayor Lyda Krewson said she hopes state officials will reconsider, citing the region’s over 40% share of the state’s gross domestic product.
“We’re a very strong (economic) driver and we’re very hopeful that the state will reconsider this,” she said. “Plus, the state would have been paid back very quickly on this $30 million. … I hope the state comes back around to its senses on this one.”
The project calls for the new stadium to anchor redevelopment in the Downtown West district, with a 2022 opening to coincide with the expansion club’s launch. The upcoming club is backed by members of Enterprise Holding’s Taylor family—including Enterprise Holdings Foundation president Carolyn Kindle Betz—and Worldwide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh.
Rendering courtesy HOK and Snow Kreilich Architects.
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