The future of professional soccer in St. Louis will be decided today as voters will head to the ballots to decide on Propositions 1 and 2, which will lead to the building of a downtown soccer stadium if both pass.
Former Anheuser-Busch President Dave Peacock, an executive committee member of the ownership group trying to build the stadium and bring an MLS franchise to St. Louis, joined The Ryan Kelley Morning After to talk about today’s vote.
Listen to the complete conversation and read some quotes below as he talks about whether he thinks the vote will pass.
What kind of indication are you getting on the health of today’s initiative?
“We feel good. In formal polling, (we’ve started picking up some momentum) over the past couple of weeks. With a low turnout, it’s difficult to judge based on polling. We’re not taking anything for granted. We have a lot of confidence. We have more than 300 people out working polls, mostly volunteers. Every single vote matters in this case.”
How do you try to persuade people who aren’t on board with the stadium project that it’s going to be a good thing for the city in the long term?
“We just try to share with people the facts. This has been thoroughly vetted by media, by citizens, the data is out there. No matter how you look at it, it generates more tax revenue than is being paid in. Because of the sizing…this is one where we can have this and generate the taxes to cover other services in the city. This is a unique opportunity where we can have an amenity and know it’s the right investment. And then you throw in the community benefits agreement, which is the first of its kind. It should be the standard bearer for what we do with all future major development projects downtown.”
As a refresher, can you talk about how the public money will be raised?
“Voters will hopefully vote yes on Proposition 1, which will generate $20 million a year to cover the expansion and securitization of MetroLink, as well as neighborhood infrastructure, workforce, job training…And then automatically the use tax goes up, about $4 million a year. We’re asking voters to allocate that to the stadium and some minority workforce training. That puts us in a position to cover $50 million of the $60 million. The other $10 million is money the owners are putting up front (which will be paid back through a sales tax reimbursement over time). People are really voting on the use tax (which is paid for by larger businesses primarily) on items purchased outside the state (so people can’t purchase items outside the state and circumvent the local sales tax). I think this is something that will get a lot of our services and needs met and generate more than $1 for every $1 put in.”