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State Tax Credits For St. Louis Soccer Stadium Are In Limbo

A rendering shows how the proposed MLS stadium will look from above.
Despite the denial from Missouri officials, a team spokesman said construction of the stadium should not be delayed.

Missouri officials have denied St. Louis’ request for $30 million in tax credits for a Major League Soccer stadium. 

A meeting scheduled for Tuesday to vote on the first round of tax credits, totaling $15 million, was canceled. Bob Miserez, executive director of the Missouri Development Finance Board, said the meeting was canceled because the board did not have authorization to go above a cap on the credits. 

The board has an annual cap of $10 million for contribution tax credits. Because the city’s request exceeded that amount, the board needed authorization from state Director of Economic Development Rob Dixon, as well as two other cabinet members. 

Miserez said the board did not get that authorization, and therefore would not have been able to take any action. Dixon could not be reached for comment.

A team spokesman said Monday that any delay in issuing tax credits is not likely to push back construction. 

Otis Williams, who is in charge of redevelopment for St. Louis, said that this presents a setback but that the city will move forward. 

“We’ll continue to have discussions with the state, and potentially we may be able to appear before the MDFB board in January and look at a different path,” Williams said.

In a statement, the Missouri Department of Economic Development said the project applicants were told the authorization was not approved and “they were invited to return to MDFB in January where the board could hear and consider approving a smaller request for credits within its existing cap.”

The stadium will be built primarily using private funds from the ownership group, but the tax incentives were to help prepare the downtown site that is to include a public plaza, practice facilities and other establishments to help make it a “year-round destination.”

STL Public Radio’s Corinne Ruff contributed to this report.

Follow Jaclyn on Twitter: @DriscollNPR

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.

Jaclyn is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.