SC STL’s Jim Kavanaugh talks event with MLS commissioner, soccer stadium vote

Another aerial view rendering of the proposed SC STL stadium. This view to the West illustrates the front of the facility at Market and Union Station. Photo via HOK

World Wide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh, one of four people on the executive committee of the ownership group pursuing an MLS expansion team and downtown soccer stadium, joined The Press Box on Monday.

Kavanaugh promoted Monday’s event at Ballpark Village with MLS Commissioner Don Garber and next Tuesday’s soccer stadium vote.

Read some quotes from the interview and listen to the complete conversation below:

On the event with MLS Commissioner Don Garber at Ballpark Village:

“Everybody is welcome. It’s probably a little obvious that timing would be good to ask the commissioner to come in and spend time with some of the investors and leaders in St. Louis. We have the vote next week. I think we’re moving things forward, there’s a lot of momentum. I believe the one significant hurdle that we have in front of us…is to get the vote next week. I think for the fans to see the commissioner come in town and provide his support, we felt that’d be a good thing.”

“The MLS in the United States….it’s a fast-growing, exciting sport. For St. Louis to be in a position that the commissioner of the league really wants a team here, I think that says a lot. We’re excited to be in this position and to have the commissioner really positive and passionate about having a team here in St. Louis.”

What has the ownership group tried to do over the last few weeks to try and persuade voters to approve the soccer stadium?

“We’ve done a number of things from a grassroots campaign perspective…We’ve gone to town halls, local restaurants and bars, town halls with different union officials, different minority groups…we believe will be good partners and beneficiaries of bringing MLS to St. Louis. We’re going to continue all of those efforts. A lot of it is focused on (educating people this is a net positive from a financial perspective for the city of St. Louis). Once the stadium is up, we’ll generate approximately $5 million in tax revenue. Net…there are no dollars coming out of the residents and the citizens…and you’re basically going to get a net return on an annual basis and throughout the course of the project.”