St. Louis’ stadium funding (and their MLS team hopes) will be decided by April vote

St. Louis’ bid for an MLS expansion team could be decided by an April vote. That is when the city will decide whether to allocate $60 million to a stadium for the prospective team.

After weeks of debate, the city’s aldermen agreed to put the funding bill to a ballot. The voters will either decide to dedicate $60 million — a combination of tax money and tax exemption — towards the stadium that has been proposed adjacent to Union Station, making St. Louis a favorite to land an MLS expansion team, or they won’t.

Getting funding for the $200 million stadium hasn’t been easy. Originally, the plan called for both city and state money, but the newly elected governor nixed any state funds. That left the bid with just the city to help with funding and the voters will decide whether they find the project worthy.

If St. Louis voters don’t agree to help fund the stadium, the city’s bid for an MLS team may die. So far, investors have insisted that they need help to get the stadium built and without a stadium, they won’t get a team. It’s possible that the situation may change down the road, but at the very least, it would be a huge blow to St. Louis’ chances.

But if voters agree to the $60 million, St. Louis is probably the surest bet to get an expansion team. The league has long loved the city and have spent years trying to get a team there. With good ownership in place, all that is missing is a stadium. Once that is locked in, odds are that St. Louis will get one of the two expansion teams MLS will award later this year and begin play in 2020. But it’s all dependent on that April vote.