St. Louis MLS stadium funding defeated

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It looks like St. Louis will remain a two-sport town after voters defeated a measure that would have helped pay for a stadium as part of an effort to lure a Major League Soccer franchise.

City voters turned down Proposition 2 on Tuesday by a 53 percent to 47 percent vote. It would have provided $60 million from a business use tax to help fund a soccer stadium.

MLS leaders have expressed strong interest in St. Louis, but only if voters agreed to public funding. The league is expected to award two expansion franchises this fall, both of which would begin play in 2020.

St. Louis has two professional franchises, the baseball Cardinals and the NHL Blues.

Major League Soccer released a statement following the decision.

“For many years we have believed that St. Louis would be a tremendous market for a Major League Soccer team, but the lack of a positive stadium vote is clearly a significant setback for the city’s expansion opportunity and a loss for the community.

“We deeply appreciate the efforts of Paul Edgerley, Jim Kavanaugh and their partners to bring Major League Soccer to St. Louis.  They were focused on creating a plan that benefited the community at no cost to St. Louis City residents while bringing the fastest growing professional League in North America to the region.”