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St. Louis sees MLS hopes take big hit after stadium funding bid fails

Tuesday was going to be a monumental day for the future of MLS in St. Louis, for better or worse.

Unfortunately for the fans, it was the latter as a city voters decided that public money will not be released to fund a soccer-specific stadium in St. Louis.

St. Louis needed a final go-ahead on the stadium to boost its expansion bid, but it required $60 million in public funds. Due to city laws, a vote was required to give the okay.

The failed vote is a crucial blow to the city’s expansion hopes, which MLS acknowledged in a statement.

Jim Kavanaugh, one of the leaders of the St. Louis bid, admits that there is no other alternative and that Tuesday’s vote is the final nail in the coffin, per STL Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum.

MLS and its owners will meet later this month to discuss expansion and to whittle down the list of candidates. Based on the vote, it sounds like St. Louis will not make the cut.

16 comments
  • Ash

    Good, why the heck should public money be used to build a stadium for a group of rich investors when that money could be used elsehwere.

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    • BrianK

      Ash,

      That is why I will visit Kansas City, or San Jose or Orlando and spend my money. I will not be visiting St Louis anytime soon.

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      • Jay83

        So your not going because STL residents decided that sports isn’t as important as education and infrastructure? Brilliant.

        Like

  • Dr. Tongue

    We are seeing more of a backlash against public money for stadium development in this country. Unfortunately, for soccer/MLS, it will have a tougher row to hoe in than the other leagues as well as people will be more inclined to pay for NFL or NBA than soccer.

    Like

    • beto

      yup sorry MLS but you are late to the party and paying for mistakes that cities have made for MLB, NFL and the others. Even a pretty good plan like this will die because it involves the following words “stadium” “public funds” “vote”

      its a fine line between economic development and crony capitalism (and NFL & MLB is downright corporate socialism).. and its safer and more politically prudent for cities (that are being asked to more with less constantly) to stay away from everything than get involved in deals like these.

      bummer tho, a privately funded St. Louis MLS team would be amazing.

      Like

  • IvanRG

    Why can’t people get that this money is being invested? ROI will be generated, which means more jobs, more cash flow, increase in local economy. This is anti-progress small thinking. This is why people like Kroenke decided to bail out.

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    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

      I don’t know why they would resist, it is going so well for the Fire and Red Bulls stadiums.

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    • Bryan

      Exactly, and when MLS has 60 teams the St Louis stadium would just be another place for the hobos that wander around downtown st Louis to set up shop.

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    • beto

      if its such a great plan why do they need public dollars? why can’t their owners find the initial capital elsewhere?

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    • yankiboy

      What you see as “anti-progress, small thinking”, etc.. are the taxpayer revolting and saying “Enough is enough!”

      You can blame it on not so easy to love but rich types like Jeffrey Loria and municipalities struggling with their budgetary concerns.

      As previously explained by other dudes a lot smarter than I am: The public ain’t feelin’ these deals like they used to. They’ve seen the movie and decided that too many times, they don’t like how the flick ends…

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    • NE Revs

      I can’t say I know how or why this stadium proposal was different from others that have come before it in the US. What I can say, is that most stadium proposals say they will bring about economic benefits and most of the time they do not materialize. Would this situation have been different? I honestly can’t say. Can I blame the voting citizens of St. Louis for being skeptical? No at all. When people say building this stadium is a no-brainer, it obviously begs the question (as Beto already mentioned) why wouldn’t the owner’s build the stadium themselves?

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    • NE Revs

      Also, this is the essence of why the Revs will not likely leave Foxboro anytime soon. Building an ubran soccer stadium in Boston doens’t make fiscal sense unless the public is footing the bill. Robert Kraft knows there’s not public support for it outside of people on message boards that don’t live in Boston/New England. Also worth noting. Robert Kraft privately financed Gilette Stadium.

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  • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

    I don’t know how these things work, but they always seem to be VERY counter intuitive to what would seem logical. It almost has to be a public money grab, no?
    DC playing in a stadium that was finished and working and huge and big tradition…HAS to move.
    To a small stadium that won’t fit needs in 10 years. The Silverdome was selling for $0.05, but Detroit needed a different stadium. Etc.

    Didn’t St Louis build a massive stadium, the seats seem perfectly aligned for a soccer field, it holds 67k people, perfect for soccer? Yes they did, cut the roof off and use it. Instead they will demolish it and try to build a new one ( unsuccessfully I guess ).

    From wiki:
    Once the team left, Missouri taxpayers shouldered the remaining $144 million in debt and maintenance costs on the stadium until the debt is paid off in 2021.[35][36] As of January 2016, the Dome no longer has any tenants, be they permanent or temporary.

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    • whammmm

      They should definitely use the Rams old stadium. (The reason the vote went so poorly in my opinion is because of what happened with the Rams and that stadium.) Open the dome, tear up the turf then prove the franchise will thrive, which I absolutely believe it would. Once they do that gear up for some renovation. I’m guessing that will be the next step.

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  • yankiboy

    Danny C, hold up, Player! “…Bringing the fastest growing professional league in North America…”?!?!!

    Say what?!?!

    They already got a USL franchise in St. Louis, my man!

    Like

  • r.benjamin

    Tough blow.. I’d rather see St Louis than Miami that’s for sure.

    This shows how hard it is to get all the ducks in a row.

    Sacramento where you at…

    Like

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