Monday, August 27, 2007

MLS Expansion - Public to see St. Louis soccer plan

The bid to build a soccer complex in Collinsville, just outside of St. Louis, is heading into the final phase and if bid leader Jeff Cooper has anything to say about it, the public will get to see as much of the proposal as possible.
"I've got to live" in the Metro East, Cooper said. "I don't want people burning down my house because they think I was slipping something by the Collinsville council."

Cooper said he is so confident in the project that he wants residents to be given the opportunity to see any plans "so the public has a chance to shoot holes in it."
The city council is set to look at the deal at their 10 September meeting. Even if they vote in favor of it at that time, the city will not be tied to the project as it will probably depend on the awarding of a MLS franchise to Copper and St. Louis Soccer United.

The full project will include "an 18,500-seat stadium, 240 hotel rooms, at least two restaurants, several youth soccer fields and nearly 500,000 square feet of office and retail space" and cost about $402 million to build. Cooper is asking the city to become a partner in the deal by issuing bonds as well as pay for some of the infrastructure.

It seems that the only part of the plan with which the city takes issue is the number of homes. Cooper calls for 1600, but the city would like there to be less then that.

With rumors suggesting that MLS will announce at least one expansion franchise in the next 30-60 days, this has got to be good news for soccer fans in St. Louis. If Collinsville agrees to the terms, I don't see how MLS could say no.

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Blogger ERic said...

There's a lot of 'I don't see how MLS could say no' going around with all three cities. A Philly fan found an RFB(Q?) for building the Philly stadium. And Seattle, well, they already have a stadium, of a sort.

The next 30-60 days are going to be a LOT of fun.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Allen said...

If this plan can past, I think it's the best one out there. The question for the MLS is how do they add St. Louis and Philly without adding at least another team for the West. After all St. Louis and KC would make for a nice rivalry.

1:32 PM  

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