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County Council Hears from Stadium Supporters, Opponents

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The Cardinals want to replace Busch Stadium with a new ballpark immediately south of Busch. (KWMU file photo)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

Clayton, MO – Opponents and supporters of a new Cardinals baseball stadium testified before the St. Louis County Council Monday night.

The council must decide whether to loan developers $45 million; the money would be repaid through bonds that are issued.

Cardinals' President Mark Lamping says a new ballpark will boost the region's economy.

"We've been hearing a lot of things about businesses downsizing, businesses relocating out of the region," he said. "This is the exact opposite of that. This is a business that's been here over 100 years, making a huge investment in this community and putting people to work."

Lamping says construction could start next month after private financing is secured.

Opponents say the county should not fund the stadium. One group is gathering signatures in an attempt to bring the matter to a public vote.

A leading opponent of a new Cardinals stadium was among those who spoke Monday night.

Fred Lindecke told Council members that loaning developers $45 million would create a no-win situation for county taxpayers.

Lindecke is with the Coalition Against Public Funding for Stadiums. He says other major sports venues in the area are a burden on public coffers.

"The worst thing that can happen here is that the 17 millionaire owners of the Cardinals have to reach into their own pockets and put up $45 million more," he said.

The council did not vote on the plan last night but could at its meeting next week.

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