St. Louis MLS Stadium Bills Introduced

St. Louis MLS stadium plan October 2019

Bills relating to the St. Louis MLS stadium project have been filed by city aldermen, putting some major aspects of the plan closer to possible approval.

Slated for a site west of Union Station in downtown St. Louis, the new MLS stadium is scheduled to open in 2022, coinciding with the launch of the city’s expansion team. It is being planned as part of a larger $461-million project that will be primarily financed through private dollars from the team’s ownership group, with some tax incentives in play.

On Friday, two pieces of legislation were introduced at the local level to help push the agreement forward, including Board Bill 215 and Board Bill 216, which will authorize the redevelopment plan for the project. The legislation would be key to the stadium process in a few areas, including the implementation of two separate one-cent sales taxes on items sold at the stadium–including tickets, food and beverage, and more–that would be levied by new community improvement and transportation development districts. The legislation is not final at this point, and it is scheduled to be discussed by a committee on Wednesday, but the bills would spell out some key terms of the stadium agreement. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Aldermen introduced two bills that “begin the process of codifying the deal we put together,” Aldermanic President Lewis Reed, the primary sponsor, told reporters….

Among other things, Friday’s legislation calls for two separate 1-cent sales taxes on food, drinks, tickets and other items sold at the stadium. They would be levied by new community improvement and transportation development districts.

“If you do not attend a game, you do not pay” the tax, Reed said.

But city leaders and the ownership group have yet to decide whether also to seek a third 1-cent sales tax at the stadium site through the city Port Authority.

The club’s ownership group features members of Enterprise Holding’s Taylor family—including Enterprise Holdings Foundation president Carolyn Kindle Betz—and Worldwide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh. The stadium project calls for the facility to anchor redevelopment in the Downtown West district, which will include the construction of practice fields and other team facilities. St. Louis is slated to be one of two expansion teams that begins MLS play in 2022, joined by Sacramento.

Rendering courtesy HOK and Snow Kreilich Architects.

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