06 April, 2017
Voters in St. Louis City rejected a plan on Tuesday that would partially fund a new soccer stadium with public money.
St. Louis is one of 12 cities under consideration for the next round of MLS expansion, which will see two new teams added to the league, with another pair to follow, bringing the eventual total up to 28.
MLS leaders have expressed strong interest in St. Louis, but only if voters agreed to public funding.
St. Louis has two professional franchises, baseball's Cardinals and the NHL's Blues.
The group behind the proposed "Soccer City" redevelopment of the 166-acre Qualcomm Stadium property in Mission Valley announced Tuesday that they will ask the City Council to put their plan before voters in November.
FS Investors wants to buy the land at fair-market value (determined by a third-party) and hopes to convince San Diego State to use the stadium for its football team. The league is expected to award two expansion franchises this fall, both of which would begin play in 2020.
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Jim Kavanaugh, vice chairman of SC STL, said the vote "is likely the final stage of our journey".
She will replace St. Louis' only four-term mayor, Francis Slay, who was first elected in 2001 and decided against another run.
"We wish the outcome would have been different", Kavanaugh said.
Kavanaugh went a step further in an interview with the St. Louis Business Journal, saying the ownership group is likely to disband and end its effort.
Meanwhile, Governor Eric Greitans has let it be known that he is against using any public money for the stadium.