St. Louis Takes Another Crucial Step Towards Downtown MLS Stadium
The St. Louis Board of Aldermen "overwhelmingly approved a resolution Friday that outlines tax incentives for a proposed" MLS stadium downtown, according to a front-page piece by Bott & Hunn of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The proposal, which passed 26-2 despite being "just a first step," outlines the "financing plan but doesn’t create the laws required to secure tax incentives." Aldermen would "vote on those later -- if, Mayor Lyda Krewson has said, the MLS awards St. Louis a team." But the resolution also "provides a set of incentives that the city and ownership group have agreed on, laying out a framework -- and expectations -- for the deals to come." Incentives "include a full exemption on sales tax for construction materials, free use of the site" and a 50% break on ticket taxes and the addition of a 3% "sales tax on goods sold at the stadium." The resolution also "recommends funneling the other half of the ticket tax into a city fund to support future stadium improvements" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/1).
WELL... WE'RE WAITING: In St. Louis, Ben Frederickson wrote, "If MLS wants to be in St. Louis as bad as St. Louis has been led to believe, there should be no reason to delay. Show us some love." The city has a "whole lot of public enthusiasm" and an "appealing ownership group." There is also "available land" and, "perhaps most important, approving lawmakers." St. Louis "wants in, and it has worked to get here, but this remains a region scarred by the NFL’s departure." Frederickson: "Nothing is more appealing to our area than a league that wants to help us turn the page. Nothing is less appealing to our area than a league that comes across as standoffish" (STLTODAY.com, 12/2).