Almost 60,000 St. Louis voters cast ballots Tuesday — the highest turnout for an April city election in decades. And that large turnout contributed to the defeat of a proposal to build a Major League Soccer stadium in the city.
Consultants had told the St. Louis FC ownership group they would need more than 20,000 “yes” votes to succeed. They got more than 27,000 and still lost by about 3,300 votes.
Political consultant Jeff Rainford said the stadium campaign struggled to appeal to older, more conservative voters as well as black voters. It had success with younger voters, voters with young families and a cohort of Democratic supporters.
Citywide, 20 of 28 wards voted down the proposal, despite Proposition 2 not facing any organized opposition and a $1 million political campaign to get supporters to the polls.
The MLS says it has not formally ruled out the bid from St. Louis, but a league spokesman called the vote “a significant setback.”
Investors said there was no secondary financing plan, and they don’t expect one to materialize. St. Louis FC owner and MLS investor Jim Kavanaugh said the investor group was “breaking up,” though some individuals may consider investing in other Major League Soccer teams.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch