Missouri Minute: St. Louis said to land MLS team; UMKC gets Bloch gift

Good morning, MBA readers,

Supporters of a plan to bring a Major League Soccer team to St. Louis may finally get their goal. The league will award its 28th franchise to a St. Louis ownership group called MLS4TheLou, multiple outlets have reported. Across the state, the University of Missouri-Kansas City business school is celebrating its own good news: a $21 million gift from a familiar benefactor. Meanwhile, a new food delivery app is making its way to Cape Girardeau from Louisiana. Read on for these stories and the other top business news of the day.

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MLS said to pick St. Louis for expansion
Major League Soccer plans to announce as soon as next week that it has selected St. Louis as the home for one of its expansion franchises, multiple outlets have reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, ESPN)

New Strata agreement gives city a bigger slice of building revenue
A new agreement, presented to a Kansas City Council committee Wednesday, would allow the city to keep all revenue from the parking garage of the proposed Strata office tower while keeping its investment in the project at $63 million. Bonds for the $94 million project would be issued privately, but still backed by the city. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Food delivery app to launch in Cape Girardeau
Waitr, an on-demand restaurant delivery app based in Louisiana, will launch early next week in Cape Girardeau. (Southeast Missourian)

CommunityAmerica expands Chiefs partnership
CommunityAmerica Credit Union has become the Kansas City Chiefs’ official mortgage lender and wealth manager. The Lenexa, Kansas-based credit union is also the official sponsor of all corporate suites at Arrowhead Stadium. (Kansas City Business Journal)

St. Louis arts district leader steps down
Karin Hagaman, president and CEO of the St. Louis Grand Center, will step down Aug. 31 to pursue “personal interests.” Rich Simmons, the organization’s director of operations, will manage day-to-day operations. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Say that again

“It is irresponsible to require labels on products that are inaccurate when EPA knows the product does not pose a cancer risk.”

That’s Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who has repeatedly vouched for the safety of Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, despite numerous lawsuits that claim otherwise, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Wheeler recently doubled down on his defense of glyphosate, a key ingredient in Roundup, and said the EPA will no longer approve product labels required by California that claim glyphosate is known to cause cancer. The agency’s endorsement of Roundup conflicts with expert testimonies and studies presented at Roundup trials. Juries in the first three Roundup cases have awarded plaintiffs over $2 billion for damages caused by Roundup use, although the awards were reduced by judges in the cases.

Go figure

$21 million

That’s how much the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation will donate in a new gift to the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s business school, The Kansas City Star reports. A bulk of the funds — $11.8 million — will go toward hiring new faculty and developing new academic programs at the Henry W. Block School of Management. About $8 million will fund improvements to the 110-year-old Bloch Heritage Hall. Another $1.2 million will go toward improving student retention, graduation rates and career placements. Henry Bloch, who co-founded tax services giant H&R Block in Kansas City, died earlier this year at 96.

Send tweet

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday officially endorsed Sprint and T-Mobile’s proposed merger. In a statement posted on Twitter, Pai said the deal would accelerate the rollout of 5G services and “help close the digital divide in rural areas.” Pai’s recommendation comes as 16 states are challenging the deal in court, citing concerns over decreased competition and potential harm to wireless consumers.

Hello, my name is

Kelly Fischer
The former Express Scripts executive has joined Benson Hill Biosystems, one of the fastest growing biotech startups in St. Louis, as the head of human resources, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Fischer was most recently the vice president of human resources, strategy, planning and communications at Express Scripts. As the vice president of people at Benson Hill, she will focus on engaging and integrating the company’s growing roster of employees. The company has plans to move its headquarters to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur and expand its staff to 300.


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