City voters rejected soccer stadium; would the county be interested?

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Voters likely rejected the possibility of bringing Major League Soccer to St. Louis in Wednesday’s municipal elections.

City voters approved Prop 1—a half-cent sales tax hike to expand MetroLink—but rejected Prop 2, which would have raised money for the construction of a soccer stadium downtown near Union Station.

Both propositions needed to pass in order to fund the MLS project. Prop 2 lost by less than 3,000 votes – 53 percent to 47 percent.

A spokesman for Major League Soccer called the Prop 2 defeat a significant setback for the city's expansion franchise opportunity. MLS is expanding from 24 to 28 teams. Two of the new clubs will be announced later this year.

But could St. Louis County save the plans for bringing soccer to St. Louis? County Executive Steve Stenger said the city has not come to county leaders for help, but said he’d listen to any proposals.

Meanwhile, Governor Eric Greitans has let it be known that he is against using any public money for the stadium. And although he supports the idea of bringing the MLS to St. Louis, the governor said the money for a soccer stadium should come from the private sector.