Who will pay for a new MLS stadium?

Mayoral candidates said sue of any public money should be put to a vote.

Should public money be used to pay for a stadium that would be home to a Major League Soccer expansion team?

That is the question people will be wrestling with for the next several months as it becomes clear voters in the city of St. Louis may have the final say.

Friday morning, while mayor Francis Slay bounced a soccer ball off his head in his office, Aldermen seeking his job weighed in on the issue.

Lyda Krewson said she doesn’t have enough information to voice an opinion quite yet.

Krewson did admit that while she is a fan of soccer, hockey and baseball; she has concerns about the subsidies being sought by teams of each sport in town.

President of the Board of Alderman Lewis Reed also said more details would be necessary before he makes any concrete opinions.

However, he did say the voters should have an opportunity to weigh in on any potential deal.

It was a sentiment echoed by Ward 21 alderman Antonio French.

He said if the stadium was fully funded with private dollars, he would be in line to purchase season tickets on day one; but if even a dime of public money is sought, the public should get to vote on it.

The idea of a public vote is not something that scares the group responsible for orchestrating the expansion to St. Louis.

Vice-chair of the St. Louis MLS Project Jim Kavanaugh welcomes a public vote, even asked for it when he was interviewed Thursday evening.

Kavanaugh is sure the voters in St. Louis can be convinced that the ownership group will do right by the community.

Antonio French didn’t think his constituents would be swayed. He saud they will reject the proposal and instead send a message to the city that it needs to start focusing on the needs of the many and not the wants of a few.

Meanwhile, laborers that would benefit from the construction of a stadium voiced excitement at the prospect.

Dan Ivancic is an IBEW electrician who said the number of potential jobs on the horizon would translate into security for him and his family.

With the construction of a new building for the NGA, a planned expansion of Ballpark Village, improvements being sought on behalf of the St. Louis Blues organization and now a possible new stadium, things couldn’t look better for someone in Ivancic’s line of work.


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