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Tax Incentives for Final Fours, Also in Legislative Limbo

Michael Calhoun
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The Louisville Cardinals tip-off against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the NCAA Men's Final Four at the Edward Jones Dome on April 2, 2005 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Bob Covington/Getty Images)

The Louisville Cardinals tip-off against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the NCAA Men’s Final Four at the Edward Jones Dome on April 2, 2005 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Bob Covington/Getty Images)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – China Hub and local control of the police department aren’t the only casualties of Jefferson City’s legislative gridlock.

Tax incentives to lure sporting events like Final Four basketball are also in limbo.

“It’s frustrating for us, because the piece of the legislation that applied to amateur sports really didn’t have any opposition, but it’s still part of the overall economic development package,” St. Louis Sports Commission President Frank Viverito said this week.

He explained that while St. Louis is superior to most other places in a lot of ways, like experience hosing such events, easy access and quality facilities,  groups like the N.C.A.A. and the U.S. Olympic Committee are focusing most on cost, thanks to the economy.

“So the factor that differentiates the cities is how effectively can you put together a financial package,” he said, and without the $3 million a year in proposed state tax credits, he doesn’t think St. Louis can compete for those grand scale-type events.

“The fewer arrows we have in the quiver, the harder is it to be able to outbid another city.”

Copyright KMOX Radio

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