St. Louis Votes No to a New MLS Stadium


Ben Hughes, Managing Editor

     The greater St. Louis area held their municipal election day on April 4th, where St. Louis voters cast their ballots on a wide variety of races and issues. Two of the issues on the ballot: Proposition 1 and Proposition 2, both linked to the possibility of building an Major League Soccer stadium in downtown St. Louis.

    The stadium design was already almost complete, and was supposed to be built on Market Street downtown, just west of Union Station.

    Both propositions needed to pass in order for the funding for the stadium to advance, because the sales tax increase in Proposition 1, if passed, would push forward the use tax increase in Proposition 2.

    Proposition 1 is a half cent sales tax increase that is expected to generate around 20 million dollars in revenue.  

    Proposition 2 asks voters to approve a $60 million use tax increase to build the new MLS stadium.

    Because Prop 1 passed and Prop 2 failed, the use tax will still increase, but the extra money will be put towards the city’s general fund as it does now instead of towards the new stadium.

    News reporters at the vote said that the voter turn out for Proposition 2 was actually much higher than supporters had expected. 58,116 total votes were tallied. The Proposition failed by about 3,200 votes: 53% of voters voted no.

    Supporters of Proposition 2 were clearly upset by the vote and said that there was no plan B for moving a MLS expansion team to St. Louis, but they were open to suggestions.

    Voters were surprised by the fact that Proposition 1 passed but Proposition 2 failed because Proposition 1 was the one that actually involved a sales tax increase, which applies to every person buying anything in the city of St. Louis. On the other hand, Proposition 2 only involved a use tax increase.

    The MLS issued a statement to the city of St. Louis after the proposition had failed, “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.”

    Parts of the money from the sales tax increase of Proposition 1 will be put towards MetroLink extension, but the hope for an MLS team in St. Louis is most likely gone.