By Jessica Machetta
A plan to help fund a proposed $200 million professional soccer stadium in St. Louis is expected to be considered today by an alderman committee. The bill would ask St. Louis city taxpayers for $60 million to help build the stadium.
Alderman Antonio French says since the measure didn’t appear to have enough favorable votes, the committee chairman decided to delay its consideration until Monday.
“We have a lot more pressing needs in the city of St. Louis. We are not addressing the public safety needs, the crime needs. Instead, we are going to vote on two stadium improvements before we address the things people really want to see in their neighborhoods. The majority of the committee wasn’t going for it,” says French.
He says the city already faces a $20 million budget shortfall.
“We need to deal with those things that on our plate right now before we add something to it,” says French.
Supporters of the proposal, like President Lewis Reed, say a pro team would have a positive economic impact on the city.
“When we look at the city’s financial conditions, certainly if we do not create opportunities for additional economic growth and economic activity, it’s not like we stay where we are. We continue to lose ground,” says Lewis.
The bill must pass the full Board of Aldermen by Tuesday to make the April 4 ballot.