St. Louis city faces big hurdles to get soccer stadium financing bill on the April ballot

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – The future of professional soccer St. Louis looks good or maybe not. It depends upon with whom you talk. The group wanting to bring the MLS to town released a statement late Wednesday evening that said after working with Governor Greitens and his staff they've found a way forward to advance the goal of bringing Major League Soccer to St. Louis while remaining faithful to the governor’s stance against state funds to build stadiums.

Soccer ownership leader Dave Peacock and city officials met to talk about funding Wednesday afternoon. The ownership would like St. Louis to put in $60 million in tax money to fund a new stadium to be built near Union Station.  The bill should be passed by next Tuesday so voters can cast ballots on it in April. Plus, MLS apparently wants a proposal in their hands from St. Louis by January 31st.

Alderman Christine Ingrassia sponsored the bill for the funding. She said she needed more information from the ownership group to enable analysts to determine if it makes economic sense for the city and the taxpayers. It goes to the ways and means committee Thursday.

Ingrassia said, “I don’t think were there yet so were going to have a conversation in committee tomorrow I don’t know if we will take a vote.”

There’s no explanation of what the governor and the soccer folks have hammered out.  Ingrassia also said, "I’m dubious at this point that we're going to be able to move forward."

Late Wednesday night, Jim Woodcock, spokesperson for SC STL released at statement:

"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."

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