If you want an MLS franchise, there are plenty of barriers to cross. One of the most important and pressing is the soccer-specific stadium. If you’re joining the league, it is almost a prerequisite for any new club.
St. Louis, after losing their beloved Rams to Los Angeles, has been looking to fill their sports heart with something else to go along with the Cardinals and Blues. After immediate rumors that said that the city would be interested in an MLS franchise, SC STL stepped forward and grabbed the idea by the horns after being a USL club since 2015.
Like many sports franchises in America, they asked for a fair amount of public funding. How much you may ask? $80 million, according to a bill that went in front of the city.
The bill’s life was short-lived.
“That bill will not be moving forward,” Alderman Christine Ingrassia, 6th Ward, said at Tuesday’s meeting of the aldermanic Ways & Means Committee.
It seemed like a long shot after the previous battle with the Rams. It doesn’t look like the bill is totally dead in the water, but it will have to be reworked and the money sought would have to considerably decline. The expansion fee for a new MLS franchise is around $200 million, so whoever wants to start a franchise is going to have to pony up some cash, no matter what.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay didn’t seem too down on the bill, but had reservations.
“We remain committed to working with SC STL to develop a sound financial proposal to put before the voters. That said, we don’t yet have an agreement. There are a lot of components that still need to come together, especially support from the State.”
Whether the billscomes back in a new iteration remains to be seen, but time is limited, as the MLS expansion franchise application is due on January 31st. Don’t expect to see much talk about the bill until they get their ducks in a row, and by then, this ship could have sailed.