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Planned St. Louis Soccer Stadium Gets Nearly $6M In State Financing

A rendering of the Major League Soccer stadium in downtown St. Louis.
The Missouri Development Finance Board has approved nearly $6 million in state tax credits for the construction of the Major League Soccer stadium in downtown St. Louis.

Another piece of the financing puzzle for the Major League Soccer stadium in downtown St. Louis is in place.

The Missouri Development Finance Board voted Tuesday to approve $5.7 million in state tax credits. The board late last year denied a larger request that amounted to $30 million.

A spokesman said the ownership group, which is led by members of the Taylor family and Jim Kavanaugh of World Wide Technology, had no comment on whether the lower-than-expected state tax credit package left any gaps in financing. 

Mary Goodman, legislative director for St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, said it was her understanding that the owners were prepared for the financing board to approve a smaller amount of assistance and had built that into their costs.

The ownership group, MLS4TheLou, is financing the vast majority of the $500 million development, which includes the stadium, team offices and practice fields. But they sought both state and city aid for infrastructure at the site.

In February, aldermen approved a series of credits and special taxing districts by a wide margin. The state tax credits will be used to “construct basic utility infrastructure” — any leftover money would be used for the rebuild of Market Street.

The assistance approved by the city did not include an expansion of the St. Louis Port District, which would allow for an additional tax to be charged at the stadium site. Goodman said that was still under consideration.

Work on the site, which is west and north of Union Station, is already underway. The ownership group must still acquire two additional pieces of property. It is authorized to use eminent domain on one, a building at the corner of 19th and Olive streets, but hopes to avoid the courts.

The yet-to-be-named team is expected to begin play in 2022.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

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

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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