Foundry St. Louis, an ownership group looking to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to St. Louis, is offering to pay approximately $80 million, or the public portion of a development, to help build a soccer stadium.
Foundry’s CEO Dan Cordes sent a letter to Dave Peacock, chairman of the St. Louis Sports Commission, saying Foundry would cover the cost of what Peacock’s group is seeking for public subsidy. Peacock is co-founder of SC STL, a separate group looking to build a $200 million MLS stadium on property just west of Union Station.
When Governor Jay Nixon assigned his task force, led by Peacock, with the responsibility of developing a stadium plan to keep the Rams and the NFL in St. Louis, part of that North River plan included building a stadium that would house the Rams as well as a soccer franchise. When the deal with the NFL fell through, Peacock continued to explore opportunities to bring an MLS team to St. Louis on a smaller scale.
Shortly thereafter, Foundry St. Louis came into play with a plan of their own that would utilize land on St. Louis University. Cordes has stated that his group wanted to build the stadium without raising any taxes. It was estimated an MLS stadium would cost at least $100 million. Expansion fees paid to MLS could be as high as $200 million.
MLS currently has 20 teams and will expand to 24 by 2020. Teams in Atlanta and Minnesota will start next season. The league has said that after 2020, it will add four more teams, and that’s where St. Louis hopes to fit in.
I spoke with Brian Feldt, Senior Reporter for St. Louis Business Journal, who explains how the two competing groups could end up working with each other in the end to bring professional soccer to St. Louis.