Friday, the final MLS financing bill was passed by the Board of Alderman, further positioning April's municipal vote to solidify the city's MLS expansion bid.
"This is fantastic news for St. Louis," said Paul Edgerly, Chairman of SC STL, in a statement. "The Board of Aldermen worked overtime these past few weeks as well as today to reach a deal that is excellent for the City as well as for our bid. We appreciate their diligence and vision, and now St. Louis needs only a ‘yes’ vote in April to see the stadium and Major League Soccer both become reality.
Original Text – Thursday, Feb. 9
Citizens of St Louis will have their say in regards to whether the city gets a soccer-specific stadium.
Judge Michael Mullen ordered on Thursday that a proposal for funding for a stadium in downtown St Louis be on the April 4 ballot that locals will get to vote on. Mullen also approved a related ballot measure for a half-cent sales tax increase to fund MetroLink expansion.
Both propositions have to be pass when the city votes in order for a stadium to be built. That is because the MetroLink sales tax would trigger an increase in another tax that would create new revenue from which the city could provide the $60 million that prospective MLS ownership group SC STL is seeking.
“We thank Judge Mullen for his ruling this afternoon that city voters will have the opportunity in April to approve the ballot measure and make it possible for a Major League Soccer expansion team to play in a new multi-purpose stadium in Downtown St. Louis," SC STL vice chair Jim Kavanaugh said in a written statement on Thursday. "This ruling comes after a tough but productive negotiation with the Board of Aldermen, and we also thank them for their time, effort and support. If the vote passes in April, we project more than 400-plus construction jobs, 450 permanent jobs, $17 million in net tax revenue and the development of 24 acres of unused land in downtown.
"Now is the time for our ownership group and everyone who believes in this project to come together and work toward making it happen in April.”
SC STL is one of 12 prospective ownership groups looking to land an MLS franchise during the next round of expansion. The league is currently planning on growing to 28 clubs.