Missouri governor addresses concerns over MLS stadium funding

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ST. LOUIS – State funding connected to a stadium for a St. Louis MLS franchise may not be in jeopardy after all. Missouri Governor Mike Parson said Tuesday the state simply needs more time to review the proposal.

Parson said he supports building a soccer stadium in St. Louis but it is not a decision the state will make lightly.

Last week, state officials alarmed soccer fans when they seemingly shut down a request for $30 million in tax credits to fund infrastructure changes tied to a new stadium near Union Station in downtown St. Louis.

"We were asked to make a decision in, like, 10 days on $30 million, and that's just not the way I do business," Parson said.

State officials said they would first consider an amount closer to $6 million in 2020. Parson said they have learned from past decisions.

"We all know what happened up here several years ago with the Dome," Parson said. "We just want to make sure we get it right."

MLS4THELOU, the private ownership group led by the Taylor family of Enterprise Holdings, is covering most of the $461 million project with private funding.

"There's good ownership behind that, there's good financing behind it, but we need to make sure it's a good deal for the state of Missouri for one," Parson said.

MLS4THELOU hopes to get the stadium built by March 2022 before the first MLS home game. The group has not reacted publicly to the state's decision.

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