Officials meet in Jefferson City over MLS stadium - KMOV.com

Officials meet in Jefferson City over MLS stadium

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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
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Officials from the St. Louis area met with state officials in Jefferson City to discuss the approval of $40 million in tax credits needed to build a soccer stadium for a Major League Soccer team in St. Louis.

In a government office building a few blocks from the capital, the Director of Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority presented the plan to the Missouri Finance Development Board.

The officials are trying to move quickly on the approval of funding because half of the $40 million in state tax credits will disappear by the end of the year if they are not used.

“I think there's an opportunity,” Otis Williams, Director of Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, said. “As was said in the meeting, an opportunity to take advantage of availability of credits in Fiscal Year 2016 and move to 2017.”
  
The project hinges on whether Major League Soccer awards a franchise to SCSTL, one of the two groups looking to build a stadium and land a team. Jim Woodcock of SCSTL said his group should learn "pretty quickly" the timeline for the league's expansion.

“The number of teams the league is going to expand to, the application process and what that application fee may be and that's when the ball will get rolling” Woodcock said. “The application process is indeed a process, we've got to show a lot and we're prepared to do that.”

One member of the Development Finance Board expressed concerns that at this point there are just too many unanswered questions about the entire project.

“Time will have to pass before we can get an answer to some of those,” Williams said of those concerns. “But essentially though, I think when we come back here for the final approval we'll have more information”

Some lawmakers are also skeptical after a proposed stadium deal to keep the Rams in town used taxpayer dollars for a stadium that was never built.

“Some of the negative feelings where it had not gone to a public vote, we intend to take this issue to a public vote in the city of St. Louis at least to provide the city's portion of this,” Williams said.

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