Hey, so it turns out the prospective owners of a prospective St. Louis MLS team don’t really want taxpayers to give them $80 million toward a new stadium! No, they really want $129 million in money toward a new stadium, when you count $40 million in state tax credits, plus $9 million in state money to prepare the land. (Plus $15 million in city money to buy the land, which would “presumably” come out of the city’s $80 million, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which isn’t really all that reassuring.)
The best part of the Post-Dispatch article, though, is this:
The application, prepared by the city’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, puts the total estimated cost of the stadium and acquiring a team at $405 million. SC STL, led by former Bain Capital executive and majority investor Paul Edgerley, St. Louis FC founder Jim Kavanaugh, and former Anheuser-Busch president Dave Peacock, would provide $280 million, including the $200 million team expansion fee.
That’s right: The official explanation of why a bunch of rich guys — Bain Capital you may remember as the private equity firm that made Mitt Romney wealthy at the expense of a whole lot of other people — need $129 million in public money to build a $205 million stadium is “Well, we’re already spending $200 million to buy a team! You want us to do that and build a stadium too? What are we, made of mon — er, let me rephrase that…”
St. Louis voters are scheduled to go to the polls in the spring to decide on this deal. One hopes that they’ll be able to cast their votes based on whether this is a sucktastic proposal and not whether they like soccer, but sadly it doesn’t look like “What the hell is this, go back to the drawing board and negotiate a deal where we aren’t giving a bunch of billionaires $129 million for no damn reason other than that they just spent a lot of money on their new toy” will actually be on the ballot.