A new stadium proposal for a potential Major League Soccer team in St. Louis has been approved by the city’s Housing, Urban Development and Zoning (HUDZ) Committee.
The Missouri city was viewed as one of the main frontrunners to secure an expansion team in the most recent round of bidding before voters in April 2017 turned down a proposal to use tax money to fund a new 22,000-capacity stadium.
Miami and Nashville went on to secure MLS franchises and will enter the league in 2020, but St. Louis is gearing up another proposal after the family that owns car rental giant Enterprise Holdings last month announced plans to reignite the bid.
Under the Taylor family’s plans, a new 20,000-seat stadium in the same location near Union Station would be built. The proposal would not need to go to a public vote, with only “minimal” public funding needed. The Taylors will partner with Jim Kavanaugh, who owns United Soccer League (USL) team Saint Louis FC and headed up the previous expansion franchise bid.
Yesterday (Wednesday), the plans moved forward after the HUDZ Committee approved the proposal by a vote of 8-0.
The St. Louis government said yesterday that the proposal from the ownership group requires no city taxes for stadium construction, while a three-per-cent sales tax on stadium goods will be established. All use, earnings and regular sales taxes will remain in possession of the city.
The St. Louis Development Corporation also provided a financial impact report detailing that the city would earn approximately $41m (£32.1m/€36m) over the course of the 30-year proposal.
Mayor Lyda Krewson said: “Thank you to the Board of Aldermen’s Housing Urban Development and Zoning Committee. I am so thrilled to move a step closer to bringing a Major League Soccer expansion team to St. Louis. We are a soccer town. We play it, we watch it, and now we have another shot to score a soccer stadium and an MLS team.”
The proposal will now be put to the full board tomorrow.
Image: Daniel Schwen