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We’re still a long, long way away from every local and state government having the backbone to refuse paying for major sports stadiums with public money, but today brings news of a step in the right direction.
Some shitty rich guys wanted the people of St. Louis to pay them $80 million so that they could build an MLS stadium, but thanks to the combined of efforts of incoming state governor (and gun enthusiast) Eric Greitens and the city government, the rich guys’ plan seems to be dead in the water. From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
“That bill will not be moving forward,” Alderman Christine Ingrassia, 6th Ward, said at Tuesday’s meeting of the aldermanic Ways & Means Committee.
Whether that kills the city’s dreams of an MLS franchise is yet to be determined, but the odds against are stacked.
City officials wanted Major League Soccer investors to ask for less public money to build a $200 million stadium. Mayor’s Office spokeswoman Maggie Crane said the city had asked SC STL to lower the $80 million request, but didn’t say by how much.
The investment group that wanted to build the stadium had originally hoped to get financial backing from the state, but Greitens’s uncompromising stance against public stadium financing made that an impossibility. Without the state’s support, there was little reason for the mayor’s office and local government to back the plan.
MLS might be a (relatively) small-time league, but it’s important to remember that your elected officials can tell rich owners and financiers to go screw when they come asking for handouts from the people. Call your representatives up and tell them to take a cue from St. Louis.