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Major League Soccer ownership group

The Major League Soccer ownership group is one step closer to securing the public financial aid it's seeking to construct a stadium in downtown St. Louis.

The aldermanic Housing, Urban Development and Zoning Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed two bills outlining tax incentives for the project.

Robert and Chris Schnieders, from Creve Coeur, attended an open house Dec. 19 to learn more about the stadium construction project.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Feb. 3 with closure announcement

Five Interstate 64 ramps closed permanently Monday near downtown St. Louis. 

The ramps will be replaced by new highway exits that officials say will better connect drivers to the planned new western headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and a Major League Soccer stadium.

The ramp and related construction is expected to be completed in time for the professional soccer season in early spring 2022, according to St. Louis Development Corporation spokesman John Parker.

This is a mock-up of what the new riverfront stadium with a professional soccer team.
Courtesy of HOK

Last month, news emerged about a potential holdup in plans for construction of a Major League Soccer stadium in downtown St. Louis. 

St. Louis city, the St. Louis Development Corporation and the MLS ownership group applied for a combined total of $30 million in state tax credits over 2019 and 2020. Missouri’s Department of Economic Development didn’t approve the request — the current cap on what it awards is $10 million. 

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, the St. Louis Business Journal’s economic development editor, Jacob Kirn, joined host Sarah Fenske with the latest and discussed the $461 million project's future. 

Designs by Snow Kreilich Architects and HOK show a open-air soccer stadium with a translucent canopy to protect spectators from weather and a field that sits 40 feet below street level.
HOK

While fans are excited about the arrival of Major League Soccer in St. Louis, the new stadium could be the beginning of a more vibrant sports-entertainment district in downtown.

The likely site of the MLS expansion team’s venue will be west of Union Station, just down the street from the Enterprise Center, where the Blues play, and Busch Stadium, home of the Cardinals. That will mean a roughly one-mile stretch boasting three professional sports venues, similar to districts in Pittsburgh and Detroit.

From left, Bill McDermott, Christine Ingrassia and Stu Hultgren joined Wednesday's program.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske delved into the latest news surrounding plans for a Major League Soccer team in St. Louis.

Joining the discussion were Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, whose 6th Ward encompasses the Downtown West area where the stadium would sit; “St. Louligan” Stu Hultgren, a south St. Louis resident and avid local soccer fan; and “Mr. Soccer” Bill McDermott, St. Louis University’s longtime men’s soccer game announcer.

The conversation also included questions from listeners and their wide-ranging opinions on what the new team ought to be named.