(KTVI) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, who will leave office in 28 days, is defending his support for state funding to help build a new soccer stadium in St. Louis city. Nixon said Tuesday if the city voters approve the stadium the state should help. He points out the site proposed is in an area where the state must remove a highway exchange anyway. The property under consideration is west of Union Station where motorists currently exit from westbound Highway 64\40 to get to Market Street. A new highway exchange will be built to better serve the federal government's National Geospatial Agency which will be built on the northern edge of downtown St. Louis.
Critics ask why the state would want to be involved with paying for another stadium after the St. Louis football Rams left town before their stadium was completely paid for. However Governor Nixon called the proposed soccer team a "solid opportunity. " He believes amenities like parks and major-league sports teams reflect on the region.
The governor said providing tax incentives to businesses is "just the way the world works." He insisted the state makes sure there will be a positive economic return for the region if such tax benefits are granted. During his eight years in office, governor Nixon pointed with pride to the state's strong financial rating, a triple A bond rating and the fact the state has less debt than it did when he became governor in 2009.