St. Louis stadium funding proposal moves ahead, will go to voters in April

St. Louis stadium rendering

SC STL's quest to bring an MLS franchise to St. Louis has taken another step forward.

On Friday, the city's Board of Aldermen passed two measures dealing with SC STL's proposed soccer-specific stadium, both of which will now go to the voters for approval. The board first passed a measure backing a financing plan for the proposed stadium. Later on Friday, they approved a half-cent sales tax to fund an expansion of the city's MetroLink public transit system as well as other economic development projects. The stadium financing plan will depend in part on approval of the half-cent sales tax.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has said he will sign both bills and petition a court to put them on the ballot for the city's municpal elections in April.

"Today marks another important milestone for the effort to bring Major League Soccer to St. Louis," said SC STL vice chair Jim Kavanaugh in a statement released by the group. "Our group appreciates the consideration and diligence of the Board of Aldermen over the past several weeks, and we thank Mayor Slay for signing the bill and asking a Circuit Court Judge to now certify the measure for the April ballot. This project will be a major victory for the City of St. Louis. We look forward to further sharing our vision with voters and detailing the merits of the projects in the weeks ahead."

SC STL is one of the 12 prospective ownership groups that submitted an application for an MLS expansion franchise earlier this week. The group is led by Paul Edgerley, who is part owner of the NBA's Boston Celtics, and wants to build a stadium to the west of and adjacent to St. Louis Union Station.