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State board OKs $5.7M in tax credits for MLS stadium project

The approved figure is significantly less than the $30 million in tax credits originally sought for the $461 million project
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — The Missouri Development Finance Board on Tuesday approved $5.7 million in tax credits toward construction of a Major League Soccer stadium downtown.

The approved figure is significantly less than the $30 million in tax credits originally sought for the $461 million project. A spokesman for the team's ownership group declined to comment Tuesday.

In December, the state Department of Economic Development rejected the $30 million tax credit request for the stadium development — which included $15 million in credits for both 2019 and 2020 — saying it was too much would require increasing its $10 million annual limit on credits. Though much of the stadium project is being financed privately, the tax credits have been considered a key piece to the funding package.

Following the initial denial, the ownership group said it remained in contact with the state as it moved forward with its project. A lawyer told city aldermen in February the tax credit rejection created a “tremendous amount of pencil sharpening and erasing and relooking at things” by the stadium design team.

The expansion franchise has started initial construction work on the project and said it is targeting a formal groundbreaking this spring. The development, which spans more than 30 acres, places the team's 22,500-seat stadium north of Market and its offices and training facility just south of Market Street. New renderings for the project were released earlier this month by the ownership group.

St. Louis' MLS team will begin play in 2022. The club's ownership group includes the Taylor family of car rental giant Enterprise Holdings and Jim Kavanaugh, CEO of World Wide Technology.

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