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St. Louis lawmakers approve 2 key MLS stadium bills

The stadium is expected to cost $461 million and be largely privately financed

ST. LOUIS — City lawmakers on Friday gave approval to a redevelopment plan and agreement for the Major League Soccer stadium planned west of Union Station. The Board of Aldermen voted 22-1 to approve the pair of bills.

The approvals pave the way for subsidies, including partial tax abatement, sales tax exemption on construction materials, amusement tax abatement and special taxing districts that would impose a 1% sales tax. The taxing districts will require additional legislation.

Friday’s move was expected, as a key committee OK’d legislation earlier this month.

The ownership group, MLS4TheLou, said in a statement following the vote:

“The decision by the Board of Aldermen to pass the two bills, sponsored by Lewis Reed and co-sponsored by 17 aldermen and alderwomen, related to our stadium district is another significant milestone towards making our vision for Downtown West a reality. We’re incredibly thankful for all the city officials who have worked with us tirelessly over the last 15 months on a fair plan that combines a large private investment and site-specific user taxes with our ownership group assuming all future risk for this development by owning the stadium and land. This is another exciting day for the fans, city and region as we get closer to our team taking the pitch for the 2022 MLS season.”

The team anticipates playing its first game in 2022. 

Carolyn Kindle Betz, head of the St. Louis ownership group, said Wednesday that the team has started initial construction work and hopes to officially break ground soon.

The stadium is expected to cost $461 million and be largely privately financed.

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