MLS expansion hopefuls SC STL are not giving up on their quest to strike a deal for a soccer-specific stadium in St. Louis as part of their bid for a new team.
"SC STL's goal is to bring an exceptional amenity to downtown that will serve St. Louis by generating tourism, creating jobs and enhancing the quality of life for residents of our region,” an SC STL spokesperson said in a written statement. "To that end, SC STL is committing $240 million in start-up funding, as well as taking full responsibility for facility maintenance and potential cost overruns.
"We’ll continue to work with Mayor [Francis] Slay and [Missouri] Governor [Eric] Greitens on ways to bring a great project to St. Louis.”
The statement from SC STL comes in the aftermath of a bill proposal falling through which would have seen the city inject $80 million into a stadium for an expansion MLS club.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, city mayor Francis Slay indicated the discussions on a stadium proposal will continue with the hope of gaining a clear view on it “by week’s end.”
“We remain committed to working with SC STL to develop a sound financial proposal to put before the voters. That said, we don’t yet have an agreement,” Slay told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “There are a lot of components that still need to come together, especially support from the state.”
In recent weeks, Greitens, who is the recently-elected governor of Missouri, did not provide his support for the previous soccer stadium bill and, according to the newspaper report, did not issue any comments in reaction to Tuesday's statements by SC STL and Mayor Slay.
SC STL is hoping to become one of the organizations that lands a new MLS team during upcoming rounds of expansion, which will see the league grow to 28 teams. Other cities and markets in the running are Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, and Tampa/St. Petersburg.
Interested prospective MLS owners have until Jan. 31 to submit an expansion application to the league. The plan is for the 25th and 26th MLS teams to be awarded in 2017.