St. Louis takes one step closer to MLS stadium construction

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ST. LOUIS - The president of the St. Louis Board of Alderman called Friday a great day for the city after introducing two bills outlining the financing and development plans for the new soccer stadium in downtown.

The two bills—Bill 215 and Bill 216—were introduced at the board of aldermen meeting Friday morning but not voted on. Debate and votes will come at future meetings.

President Lewis Reed said this kicks off the process to make the project law. The bills would include taking steps forward with getting the soccer stadium construction underway so it can be completed by March 2022.

The ownership group of the new MLS team will cover most of the cost of the project, which includes the stadium, team offices, and practice fields, but the group is asking for city incentives to cover the cost of improvements to infrastructure like sidewalks.

Reed said the incentives may come from two or three special taxing districts, and a discount on city tax.

"If you go to the game, you buy a ticket, you buy a beer, a soda, a hot dog or French fries or anything, whatever you spend inside that stadium, that is what pays for it for the taxpayers of the city of St. Louis," he said.

Reed said talks are continuing with lawmakers in Jefferson City about state investment in the new half-billion-dollar stadium project despite the state's refusal to approve state tax credits for the project.

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