ST. LOUIS - A major show of support for pro soccer in St. Louis as the Board of Aldermen overwhelmingly passed a resolution to bring an MLS team to downtown.
With a near-unanimous vote of 26-2, the aldermen passed a resolution essentially telling the MLS St. Louis wants a franchise.
“We're not approving a lease agreement,” said Alderman Jack Coater (Ward 7). “We're not approving final financing of this project, what we are doing is showing support.”
And that's all Friday’s resolution was about; a first step, if you will. A rough financing plan was included but doesn't include laws needed to secure tax incentives.
Alderwoman Sharon Tyus (Ward 1) was one of the no votes. She said people and issues in north St. Louis were being pushed aside to focus on this.
“There are other neighborhoods that exist, so when you do this, you lose me because you're not working on my project, that I have been talking about for much longer,” she said.
But Alderwoman Marlene Davis (Ward 19) thanked the Kavanaughs and Taylors, who are leading an ownership group with an investment of $390 million, for their investment in the city and the vision they have.
“We need to overwhelmingly support this so we can be assured a team for our city, so I’m looking forward to this,” Ward said.
The city estimates in its first year the franchise would provide $1.4 million of annual tax revenue to use in the city and approximately $41 million over 30 years.
Lewis Reed, president of the Board of Aldermen, responded to the vote, saying: "If we want to address the issues of public safety, housing, infrastructure and more, we need to boost our economy and this is one way to do it. I look forward to the future of this project and the future of this city."