Public funding plan for soccer stadium in St. Louis hitting major speed bumps
By: DJ McGuire
If you are a regular reader of The Montage, you probably know that in the last issue I wrote an article about the potential Major League Soccer stadium plan.
I also mentioned that a plan for $80 million in public funding was being created and that it could possibly be voted on in the April ballot.
Well that plan was officially pronounced dead by the City Aldermen Board.
SC STL, the ownership group that created the stadium plan, has stated that even though the public funding plan for $80 million died they still plan to continue to find ways to move forward without it.
SC STL has recently come up with a new proposal that only needs $60 million of public funds instead of the original $80 million.
This proposal has yet to make it out of the city Ways and Means Committee, and in order to make the April ballot, it always needs to make it through the full city Board of Alderman as well.
New Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens also has stated several times he is not in support of a public funding deal for this stadium plan.
So to recap, the stadium plan is not dead, but this is a huge speed bump.
This however is a major shot to our city’s identity as a whole.
The city of St. Louis is known as a major baseball town, if not the baseball town in America.
Our love for the Cardinals is as deep as any you will find in this country.
Our other major sports team is the Blues, and we clearly showed off our love and support of the team in our hosting of the Winter Classic.
The board’s intial rejection, and their feet dragging with the second proposal, is a clear statement saying that sports is not important to our town.
This is a clear and utter lie and is a slap in the face to what our city cares for and represents.
I understand though that St. Louis does have bigger fish to fry.
Our city is always near the top of crime and murder rates across the country.
Many roads need improving and the education program, while it is getting better, still needs improvement.
All of these things and more should, and are currently, having public money spent on them.
Even with all these problems, sports should and always will be a big focus for the city.
We have a deep love and passion for our sports and our sports teams.
This plan slowing down greatly hurts our city’s chances of getting an MLS team.
This is very bitter news when the MLS commissioner basically had a spot reserved for St. Louis to get a team.
The other unfortunate news is that several other cities are ready to take St. Louis’s spot for an MLS team.
This could mean because of this failure, we may never see the MLS in St. Louis.
This city needs a good spark in our sports community.
It has already almost been a year since the Rams left for Los Angeles, and this MLS team could be exactly what we needed.
Instead though, unwilling city officials may have just doomed these hopes.
I do understand the need to spend money in other areas, but in our city where we are trying to prove ourselves as a major sports town, this is a huge step in the wrong direction.
I do think it will be interesting to see if this public funding plan does pass and if our city has an MLS team in our future.