MLS releases statement after St. Louis votes down soccer stadium funding

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St. Louis held municipal elections on Tuesday and a measure intended to secure public financing for a soccer-specific stadium was defeated, 53-47 percent, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, falling short by an estimated 3,000 votes.

A pair of "propositions" were presented to voters in tandem: Proposition 1, funding a public transportation expansion with a half-cent increase in sales tax; and Proposition 2, which would have allocated $60 million (raised via a half-cent use tax on out-of-state business purchases) toward the the stadium development, a crucial piece of the city's MLS expansion bid. Both propositions needed to pass for the stadium to move forward; only Proposition 1 was approved, with roughly 60 percent of the vote.

Following the final results, MLS issued the following statement on Tuesday night:

"For many years we have believed that St. Louis would be a tremendous market for a Major League Soccer team, but the lack of a positive stadium vote is clearly a significant setback for the city’s expansion opportunity and a loss for the community.  

"We deeply appreciate the efforts of Paul Edgerley, Jim Kavanaugh and their partners to bring Major League Soccer to St. Louis.  They were focused on creating a plan that benefited the community at no cost to St. Louis City residents while bringing the fastest growing professional League in North America to the region."

St. Louis is one of 12 cities that submitted a bid for an MLS expansion team and Commissioner Don Garber visited St. Louis last week during the lead-up to Tuesday's vote.

MLS plans to announce its next two expansion teams later this year, with another pair to follow, bringing the eventual total to 28 clubs.