Missouri delays $40m soccer subsidy ruling, St. Louis team owners may grub for money elsewhere

Okay, didn’t see that coming: One day after Missouri governor-elect Eric Greitens called the local soccer team’s $129 million stadium subsidy request “nothing more than welfare for millionaires,” the team’s owners asked a state board to delay a meeting on $40 million in state tax credits for the project, saying they may look for another source of funding:

[SC STL vice chairman] Kavanaugh said the ownership group is working on contingencies in the event it can’t secure the $40 million in tax credits, but those ideas are in the early stages. He said losing out on the state contribution wouldn’t necessarily derail the group’s efforts at an MLS team.

“We are thinking of other options to fill in the potential hole,” Kavanaugh said.

(If you’re confused about the team name, by the way, that’s because it’s confusing: Kavanaugh currently owns the minor-league St. Louis F.C., but the larger group seeking an MLS team is called SC STL, which may or may not be the name that the MLS team goes by, if it ever comes into being.)

With the board meeting now delayed in 2017, it looks like Greitens will be overseeing any state share of the stadium deal after all, which explains why Kavanaugh is looking for a Plan B. If you’re hoping that it will be “ask the private investors who’d get the benefits of a stadium to cough up some more money, especially what with MLS reducing its expansion fee for its next two franchises from $200 million to $150 million,” Kavanaugh is already crying poor:

“Personally, growing up from a father who was a brick layer, I don’t come from money and any money I’ve made I’d say it has been earned,” Kavanaugh said by phone. “There’s a lot that personally speaking for myself and my partners we have given back in a number of ways and still plan on doing that in the community here.”

Kavanaugh had a brief career as a pro soccer player before co-founding a tech company with his friend David Steward, who likewise was born into wealth, so it’s true they’re not old-money millionaires. Still, he co-owns a company with $7.4 billion a year in annual revenues, so if he really needs $40 million, he has other places he can go other than the state of Missouri. Here’s guessing that he’ll end up asking the city of St. Louis instead, but there’s always hope that by “giving back to the community” Kavanaugh actually means “paying for my own stuff already.”

10 comments on “Missouri delays $40m soccer subsidy ruling, St. Louis team owners may grub for money elsewhere

  1. Why not just do what they did in Vancouver and make the already existing dome usable for soccer?

  2. Can’t speak for the specifics of Vancouver, but i believe the MLS wants soccer-specific stadiums owned by the team and pushes for that committment. The exceptions (which aren’t really exceptions) are teams like Seattle and New England which are owned by the local NFL owners and play in those stadiums.

    • While Paul Allen still is part-owner of the Sounders (as well as the Seahawks), the two business entities have been disentangled since 2014.

    • Well that’s about to be reduced to one because Money-bags Kraft is angling to build a soccer-specific stadium using OPM.

  3. I earned that money; that’s why you need to pay up. Look how much great stuff we do around here on a voluntary basis; you need to pay for that.

    Is that about right?

  4. Ah, yes, the poor man who became a billionaire all by himself, with no help from anyone, who then turns around and asks for welfare. Ain’t America great ?

    • Hilarious ain’t it? You don’t hear the founder and chairman of said company (who happens to be African-American and faced segregation as a youth) pulling the “I grew up the son of a brick-layer and didn’t inherent generational wealth” crap.

      These subsidize recipients crack me up. Heaven forbid Cavanaugh has to actually pay-to-play, oh no; he worked too darn hard to just give up his hard-earned money on the ultimate vanity item that he actively seeks for himself. Instead let’s use Joe Public’s (who actually isn’t rich) money; Joe will find a way to pay a little extra for public services that are substandard as it is.