Soccer officials say city vote is crucial to landing MLS team - KMOV.com

Soccer officials say city vote is crucial to landing MLS team

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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) -

The group looking to bring a Major League Soccer team to St. Louis says a public vote on funding a stadium in April is crucial to their bid.

"There is a high probability that soccer will not, the MLS will not come to St. Louis if the vote does not pass," said Jim Kavanaugh, Vice Chair of the SCSTL group.

"If the vote fails, I think it's in many ways a referendum on behalf of the community," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said during a teleconference with reporters.

Garber says there are 10 cities competing for four new expansion spots in the league.  The fee for an expansion team is set at a record $150 million.

Garber did say he is encouraged by the proposal so far from the St. Louis group and believes a soccer team can fill a void left by the Rams departing for Los Angeles.

"St. Louis has always been an attractive market for us on a variety of levels," Garber said.

Kavanaugh says his group plans a grassroots campaign to win over city voters on the public funding issue for the $200 million stadium near Union Station.

"We truly believe this is good for the community and good for economic development."

The St. Louis Board of Alderman must approve the funding package before it go to a public vote.

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