NewsChannel 5 Sports Director Frank Cusumano has obtained a letter that sheds more light on the level of interest Major League Soccer has in establishing a franchise in St. Louis.
The letter sent by league President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott to Paul Edgerly, Chairman of SC STL, one of the main parties trying to bring an MLS franchise to the city.
In the letter, Abbott states that if SC STL is successful in its efforts to build a stadium and be granted an expansion franchise, the league will schedule its MLS All-Star Game within 5 years and work with the U.S. Soccer Federation and other national and world league organizations to place high profile international matches in St. Louis.
SC STL hopes to build a stadium near Union Station to attract the MLS.
Vote on revised MLS stadium plan delayed
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has made it clear he's opposed to state funding for stadiums, yet a revised proposal for a $200 million soccer stadium in St. Louis calls for the state to contribute land that's potentially worth millions of dollars.
An aldermanic committee delayed a vote Thursday to advance a measure putting the proposal, which also requires city voters to approve $60 million in funding, on the April ballot.
The stadium is a key component to luring an MLS team. The project was endangered after the Republican governor strongly opposed an investor group's request for $40 million in state tax credits.
A revised plan calls for the state to contribute the majority of land for the 24-acre project. A Greitens spokesman says the governor "remains opposed to state funding" but didn't elaborate.
Eight days after the public funding proposal was declared all but dead, Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia on Wednesday requested a hearing before the city Ways and Means Committee. The hearing was held Thursday.
Ingrassia said a revised proposal would ask voters to approve about $60 million in new tax revenue for the $200 million project. The earlier plan sought $80 million from the city.
Investor group SC STL hopes to build a stadium near Union Station to attract a Major League Soccer expansion franchise.
SC STL spokesman Jim Woodcock says the group appreciates Ingrassia's decision to move the bill to the committee and looks forward to Thursday's meeting.
SC STL released a statement Wednesday evening thanking Governor Eric Greitens for his "collaboration over the past two weeks." The full statement is as follows:
Thanks to our collaboration with Gov. Greitens and his staff over the past two weeks, SC STL has found a path forward with the State of Missouri that will advance our goal of bringing Major League Soccer to a new multi-use stadium in Downtown St. Louis. We will continue to work with Gov. Greitens on a state participation proposal that will promote economic development in St. Louis and throughout the region while remaining faithful to the Governor's stance against state funding for building stadiums. Gov. Greitens has made it clear to us that he is very supportive of adding a new professional sports franchise to the State of Missouri, and that's a sentiment we wholeheartedly share.