Sen. McCaskill “glad” if people get to vote on St. Louis soccer stadium

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO)

United States Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) joined The Press Box on Monday to give her thoughts on the St. Louis soccer stadium project and SC STL’s efforts to get an MLS expansion franchise.

She also gave her thoughts on President Trump’s first couple weeks in office.

Related: SI soccer writer Straus: St. Louis will get MLS team if stadium built

Read some excerpts and listen to the full interview below (starts at the 11:45 mark):

The MLS wants to come to St. Louis. Where do you think things stand right now as far as the city’s chances getting a team?

“I’m glad people have a chance to vote on it. It’s really easy politically to say, ‘We don’t want any millionaires getting any help from taxpayers building any stadiums.’ It’s really hard to get our arms around it. So a lot of politicians will take the position that they’re against it. But there are plenty of cities that will take an MLS team. If we could change the whole business dynamic of professional sports where they are asking for and getting (public money across the country), I’d be down for that. I’m not excited about it. But on the other hand,  we are an amazing sports town and I know there’s room for a great deal of loyalty and economic development around professional soccer franchises.”

“We’re in great shape with the Blues and Cardinals, it would be great to add MLS to that. I’m a little disappointed leaders of our state that want to spout about economic development, are taking easy political positions.”

If you were SC STL, how would you convince voters to vote for the soccer stadium?

“I would not B.S. the numbers. I would make sure they’re solid so when you talk about jobs…you’re not making it up. We’re going to have a lot of economic activity (with the U.S. National Geospatial Administration building) that’s going to bring literally billions of economic activity. That whole area is going to be in flux with a lot of subsequent development. Obviously the stadium will augment it. I think they need to explain to the voters that if we don’t pass the vote, we’re just not going to have. Another city will do it. I know this…we need to get a lot of entrepreneurial talent in St. Louis. Companies look for a vibrant workforce and the amenities cities have. (The stadium is an intangible), but it’s really important.”

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