MLS expansion candidates St. Louis have made a pledge to their city and to the league, saying they plan on privately funding a new $250 million, 20,000 seat downtown stadium.
Carolyn Kindle Betz, executive director of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation and leader of St. Louis' expansion group, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they plan not to borrow money for a new stadium and that she is confident in their bid.
“I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I could get a team,” Betz said. “If we can give them that package, with the ownership group secured, the land secured, the community involvement secured, I think that it would be very hard for them to say no to us.”
While the group plans to privately fund the stadium, they are asking for tax-dollar help elsewhere. The Post-Dispatch reports that the city of St. Louis has proposed a 50 percent break on ticket taxes, a full tax exemption on stadium construction materials, a $30 million tax break from the state, a 3 percent sales tax on stadium goods and the free use of land for the stadium.
St. Louis is among the cities currently competing for two remaining places in the current round of expansion. The league currently sits at 23 teams this season, though the number will grow to 24 in 2019 with the introduction of FC Cincinnati then to 26 in 2020 when Inter Miami CF and Nashville begin play.