Louis voters choose tax increases, but scuttle soccer stadium funding

Louis voters choose tax increases, but scuttle soccer stadium funding

For the second time in 16 months, plans for a splashy new downtown St. Louis stadium have fallen by the wayside.

MLS leaders have expressed strong interest in St. Louis, but only if voters agreed to public funding.

Voters approved Proposition 1, a plan to raise sales taxes to help fund MetroLink expansion, but rejected Proposition 2, a plan that would have increased a tax on business purchases from out of state to fund a soccer stadium near Union Station.

The new stadium would have near Busch Stadium, home of baseball's Cardinals, and the Scottrade Center, home of the NHL's Blues.

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St. Louis was a favorite for an MLS expansion team that would have started playing in 2020.

MLS released a statement late Tuesday calling the vote "a significant setback for the city's expansion opportunity and a loss for the community".

"After several weeks of working with the league's commissioner and senior staff, it has become clear to us that final decisions will not be made before the end of the year", he said. Unlike most cities, St. Louis is independent of any county, meaning that the costs would be incumbent only on St. Louis proper, leaving the suburbs completely free of responsibility should tax funds not meet projections. FS Investors told San Diego media that MLS won't make its decision until after the November 7 vote.

As the ownership group of Phoenix Rising FC pursues a Major League Soccer franchise, St. Louis may be out of luck in chasing the MLS. The Chargers ultimately relocated to Los Angeles, joining St. Louis' former National Football League team, the Rams, in California's largest city.

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