The ownership group for Major League Soccer’s St. Louis expansion franchise has been given a boost after the Missouri Development Finance Board (MDFB) voted in favour of providing a $5.7m (£4.8m/€5.3m) tax break to help pay for the team’s stadium.
St. Louis was announced as the 28th MLS franchise back in August and the team plans on entering the league at a purpose-built stadium in 2022.
The MLS4TheLou ownership group later upgraded and expanded its vision for the open-air stadium, which will have a capacity of 22,500. The plans expand the footprint of the proposed stadium site to approximately 30 acres, which is almost all currently undeveloped.
The stadium’s capacity will be expandable to 25,000 and every seat will be within 120 feet of the pitch. MLS4TheLou claims the stadium’s canopy design will provide the most extensive coverage in MLS and will heighten the sound and energy of the fans.
Yesterday (Tuesday), MLS4TheLou was boosted by the MDFB vote, which comes after Governor Mike Parson’s administration had previously blocked the project from receiving tax credits worth $30m.
Board chairwoman Marie Carmichael said, according to the Associated Press news agency: “I feel a lot better about this project. It is certainly more doable.”
Board treasurer John Mehner questioned whether the matter should be voted on during the coronavirus outbreak, suggesting a two-month wait before a decision is made.
The AP reported that the deal will help MLS4TheLou cover the costs of rerouting and installation of utilities at the stadium. The total cost of the stadium is expected to be over $250m.