Voters get to decide St. Louis' soccer fate - KMOV.com

Voters get to decide St. Louis' soccer fate

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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 clock is ticking for St. Louis voters to decide whether or not they want to fund a professional soccer stadium in downtown St. Louis.

For the project to move forward, two ballot measures would have to pass during the April 4, 2016 general election.

Soccer fans got to meet and mingle with the soccer ownership group SC STL on Tuesday night in the Central West End.

 “There’s a lot of people who are very passionate about soccer and we’re trying to make sure that they realize how important the vote is,” said SC STL Chairman Paul Edgerley.

Edgerley said he believes the soccer stadium would be a solid investment for the city. He thinks St. Louis will benefit in revenue, jobs and more people coming downtown.

Edgerley grew up in Kansas City and is already a part owner of the Boston Celtics and a Roman soccer team.

He said when he learned the Rams were leaving St. Louis he saw a void, but also sports fans with future fears of commitment.

“They want to know that you care about the community and what you’re going to do is not just about sport, but will it really drive economic development and make the community more vibrant,” said Edgerley.

If the ballot measures pass, taxpayers would put up $60 million towards the $200 million stadium.

There’s two ballot issues that would both have to pass on April 4th for the stadium plan to move forward.          

One will ask for a half-cent sales tax increase for MetroLink Expansion.

Another will ask whether to use that money to build a stadium.

Edgerley said he believes it might be St. Louis’ last chance to get a Major League Soccer (MLS) team.

“This is the one chance in some ways because they’re going to award two teams this year and two over the next few years and I think they’re largely going to be filled up,” said Edgerley.

The other part of the soccer equation is the MLS would then have to award the city a team.

“I think if we get the vote St. Louis will be one of the two franchises that will be award,” said Edgerley.

He added that MLS likes the city’s passion for soccer, the downtown stadium location and the experienced ownership group.

Twelve cities have applied to be selected by the MLS and Edgerley guessed MLS might make an announcement by late summer.

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