A group of St. Louis investors took the formal steps to apply for a Major League Soccer expansion team Tuesday.
The group, known as SC STL, filed the application and supporting documents with MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s office, according to SC STL chairman Paul Edgerley.
“It is a privilege to represent St. Louis in the effort to bring Major League Soccer to the city,” Edgerley said in a statement. “Formally filing the application for an MLS expansion team is an important milestone. We’ve spent a lot of time with MLS officials and feel that St. Louis is very well positioned to be awarded a club. There is still a long way to go, but thanks to the recent progress made possible through collaboration with city officials, we are very close to bringing Major League Soccer and a multipurpose stadium to the downtown area.”
The yet-to-be-named team would play in a new 20,000-seat stadium to be built in downtown St. Louis.
The proposed stadium would be located on 21 acres just west of Union Station at 20th and 21st Streets. The location would open up with the relocation of interstate interchanges related to the development of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Private investors would spend about $95 million on the stadium and $150 million more on MLS expansion fees. The St. Louis City Board of Alderman advanced a bill Monday that would provide $60 million in public funding toward the stadium project. If finalized with a majority vote Friday, the measure would go on the April 4 ballot.
Public funding would also depend on approval of a separate ballot measure for a half-cent city sales tax increase for MetroLink and public safety.
Jim Kavanaugh, the vice chairman of SC STL and CEO of World Wide Technology, said the departure of the NFL’s Rams to Los Angles opens an opportunity for the MLS in St. Louis and for his investors.
“With the Rams leaving our community, St. Louis deserves an ownership group committed to the growth and development of St. Louis,” said Kavanaugh, founder of the group. “To that end, we will do all we can to make sure St. Louis is announced later this year as a member of the expansion class of 2020.”
According to the group’s MLS application, the new stadium would generate 450 start-up and construction jobs and 428 permanent jobs from team/stadium operations.
It also touts a one-mile sports and cultural “corridor” through the city that connects all points from the Arch to the MLS stadium including Busch Stadium and Ballpark Village, City Garden, Scottrade Center and Peabody Opera House.
Other members of the SC STL executive committee include Terry Matlack, managing director of Tortoise Capital in Kansas City and a partner in VantEdge Partners, and vice chairman Dave Peacock, formerly president of Anheuser-Busch, and leader in the effort to build a new billion dollar stadium for the Rams on the north St. Louis riverfront.