City officials weigh in on MLS stadium pitch - KMOV.com

City officials weigh in on MLS stadium pitch

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A rendering of the proposed MLS stadium that would be built near Union Station. Credit: MLS A rendering of the proposed MLS stadium that would be built near Union Station. Credit: MLS
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

City officials are weighing in on a proposal to bring an MLS expansion team to St. Louis. 

An ownership group, known as SC STL, says it intends to build a soccer-only stadium, 20,000-seat near Union Station. The group says it plans to fund much of the stadium construction, which it believes will cost $200 million.

The ownership group includes Paul Edgerley, who is a partner with VantEdge Partners, and Jim Kavanaugh, the CEO of Maryland Heights-based World Wide Technology.

Former Anheuser Busch executive Dave Peacock, who spearheaded and effort to try and keep the Rams in St. Louis, will serve on the group’s executive committee.

This isn't the first time a group has introduced plans for an MLS stadium in St. Louis. Months ago, Foundry St. Louis announced it was eyeing a location near St. Louis University's campus. Overnight, the group took to Twitter to respond to the newest plans by a separate group. Foundry is calling for transparency in this process and asking city leaders and even the candidates for mayor to weigh in on the potential that $80 million in taxpayer money could be needed to fund the new plans.

Details on the funding are not widely available, but city leaders have begun weighing in; mostly suggesting a cautious approach. 

"I like soccer, I like hockey, I like baseball, but we do have to be careful with subsidies and consider what the long term impact of it is," said Alderwoman and mayoral candidate Lyda Krewson. 

The city is already dealing with subsidies for Ballpark Village, the Blue and existing needs for the Dome, which is why they are proceeding with reservations. 

"if it's privately funded, 100% with private dollars I'll be buying tickets and there on day one," said Alderman Antonio French, who is also running for mayor. "If it wants one public dime has to be put to the voters and let voters decide."

Current St. Louis Mayor, Francis Slay, is excited about the project but says any financing plan is still in the development stage. 

"This isn't just bring a team in at any cost. It's about making sure that we do something and it makes sense for taxpayers," he said. "It doesn't mean we're going to have everybody on board. That won't happen. Don't expect that."

Major League Soccer officials are planning to visit the site proposed by SC STL in December. If plans move forward and public funding is needed, the goal is to have that on the April 2017 ballot.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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