ST. LOUIS (KMOX/NEWS RELEASE) – Are you a city resident and still undecided about Props 1 & 2 on next Tuesday’s ballot? Supporters and opponents are working to convince you how to vote.
Analyst Graham Renz with the Show Me Institute says the promised benefits are inevitably far greater than reality. Renz says the “economic boom” that’s promised in result of the stadium, is as elusive as Big Foot.
“I don’t see people lining up to get apartments outside of the convention center and the dome,” Renz says. “These sort of mega investments, they over promise and ten to underdeliver.
Renz says the same thing has been repeated all over the country to sell the public on subsidizing projects such as this. He adds there’s a reason proponents subsidize studies instead of simply pointing to success stories in other cities.
Spokesman Jeff Rainford with SC-STL is on the other side of the issue. He says it’s impossible to put a negative spin on the benefits a new soccer stadium, and presumably an MLS franchise,would bring with it.
“It will bring back more revenue than it will cost tax payers and then you have the other benefit – which is soccer,” Rainford says.
Both speakers were guests on the Mark Reardon show.
SC STL announced if voters say yes to both propositions, the ownership group will explore the potential of attracting a National Women’s Soccer League expansion club.
There are over 9,400 registered female soccer players between the ages of three and 19 in the Eastern District of the Missouri Youth Soccer Association. There are also thousands of other players throughout the St. Louis area who participate in CYC and various municipal programs.
“NWSL is proving to be both sustainable and promising,” said Dan Flynn, secretary general and CEO of the United States Soccer Federation. “We have a number of success stories such as the Portland Thorns, who draw around 16,000 fans per game, and a new television deal and equity partner with A+E Networks. Recalling that our U.S. Women’s National Team drew 35,000 fans to downtown St. Louis two years ago, I think an NWSL team in St. Louis would have potential for success in the new stadium.”