St. Louis Post-Dispatch civic watchdog reporter Mike Faulk covered Thursday’s St. Louis Board of Alderman Ways and Means Committee meeting that saw the proposed soccer stadium bill get approval after a second vote.
Faulk, as he has several times throughout the past few months, joined The Ryan Kelley Morning After on Friday to give his take on what he witnessed during the proceedings and where the soccer stadium projects goes from here.
Read some excerpts and listen to the full interview below:
Can you try to sum up exactly what happened at the committee meeting?
“I think they called the committee meeting because they assumed they were going to get the votes. It didn’t happen…A last second decision by Stephen Conway allowed them to reconsider it and incorporate some things Scott Ogilvie was asking for (and try to get some funding from the ticket tax and the TIF district). They slapped it together in less than an hour and it was enough to get out of committee.”
Why do you think SC STL didn’t offer the ticket tax earlier if they were eventually going to agree to it?
“I think it has to do with the structuring of ticket prices. I think it affected their business model and revenue projections that way. That’s more of a guess than anything. I think they received enough positive feedback from fans (that they were willing to go halfway on the 5 percent tax). That was enough for Ogilvie to switch his vote. The city’s getting more out of this deal than was originally proposed in December. So I think some of the opponents feel better about that.”
If it goes to a public vote, do you think it’ll come down to what side mobilizes it’s base better:
“That is what it comes down to. Municipal elections aren’t that sexy. It will be a low turnout and it depends on who shows up. If it does come down to who’s more mobilized, I would favor the soccer people because they’re already getting mobilized. I don’t think there’s an organized opposition to this. There’s plenty of opposition, but they’re not organized into one unit. There’s a ton of support in the Metro area…but how much is in the city, I don’t have a good gauge on.”