Could soccer stadium backers have avoided a gubernatorial hurdle?

When a group working to bring Major League Soccer to St. Louis, SC STL, rolled out its stadium proposal, it seemed as though everything was in its right place, with people experienced in sport franchises, buy-in from the region’s top leaders, and the promise of a public vote before any taxpayer funds were expended.

What soccer stadium proponents didn’t foresee was Gov.-elect Eric Greitens’ stance on the matter, which he recently called “welfare for millionaires.”

In this particular case, Greitens’ words are more than just rhetoric. The Republican official has the ability to nix $40 million in state tax credits that people like St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed says are critical to the project. He says the uncertainty over the tax credits will “absolutely affect” an aldermanic effort to put a stadium funding plan on the ballot.

But a bigger question could be why state tax credits were included as a critical aspect of the project’s funding in the first place.

Gubernatorial frustrations aside, the fact remains that soccer-stadium backers have a big funding hole. And there aren’t that many obvious alternatives. Greitens met with SC STL on Thursday – but emphasized that he’s still opposed to using state tax dollars to fund the stadium proposal.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio


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