Charlotte mayor tells council to email MLS stadium questions, because no time for hearings

Today in everybody and their sister wants to build a damn MLS stadium to get a damn expansion team news:

  • Charlotte’s plan for $100 million in city and county subsidies for a $175 million stadium could receive a Friday city council vote, just two weeks after the proposal first surfaced. If that seems rushed, you don’t know the half of it: Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said there isn’t time for a public council hearing on the plan, and that members should email their questions to city staff instead. Roberts later called for a council meeting on the subject at 4 p.m. on Friday, which should give plenty of time for everyone to process any testimony before a vote, right?
  • Something Charlotte council members might want to fire up their email clients about: WTF was the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority smoking when it estimated a billion dollars in new visitor spending over 25 years and 600 new jobs as a result of building a soccer stadium? Not that $40 million a year in economic activity — which amounts to maybe a couple million a year in new tax receipts — would be any great shakes for $100 million in expense, nor is a cost of $166,000 per job. But still, substance abuse is a serious problem, and if you see something, you should say something.
  • Over in St. Louis, meanwhile, that city’s all but dead $129 million MLS stadium subsidy proposal has turned into a $60 million subsidy plus an entertainment-tax kickback of unknown value. The new plan still doesn’t have much support — the bill stalled in committee last week, after city budget director Paul Payne testified that he wasn’t confident the plan wouldn’t end up dipping into the city’s general fund — but supporters are still hoping to somehow get it approved by the council and a circuit court judge in the next four weeks to get it on the April ballot, at which point St. Louis voters can express how much they hate it.

5 comments on “Charlotte mayor tells council to email MLS stadium questions, because no time for hearings

  1. Me and my damn sister (RIP) don’t want a MLS stadium to get a MLS team!!! Re: Charlotte council members – they were eating rotisserie chicken.

  2. Never a good sign when “leaders” are in too big a rush to ask questions or listen to their constituents. This will end up another debacle like the Braves’ new stadium where the people pushing the thing through will get voted out and their successors will end up having to clean up the mess. Most likely, in this case it’ll be an empty stadium since MLS’s crazy expansion pace will eventually bring down the whole league or force a large contraction.

  3. I’m confused. So a league whose about 10th in total sports fan interest, and 4th at-best within its own sport, in the U.S. now have cities falling over themselves to get a piece of the action? And people say the Roaring 20s were bad. Of course, that’s not stopping my clueless hometown of Las Vegas in trying to resurrect the dead and breathe life into their failed soccer play. As if giving away three-quarters of a billion dollars isn’t enough in a state that trying to raise funds by taxing pot-heads in order to pay for education.

  4. Dear Charlotte:

    Except for my buddy from out of state who joined me for a Quakes game this year because he was on a business trip that just happened to coincide with a match against his hom town team, I have not heard a of a single person making a trip to San Jose for a quakes game.

    The possible exception is the All-Start game, but those come once in, what…20 years?

    And I am pretty sure they’re aren’t 600 people working at each game, unless you are counting the kids working for free shagging balls. Oh, and those people also work at Levi’s and the Shark Tank. So it’s just extra income for them.

    I think the Regional Visitors Authority does indeed need drug treatment.

    -JC in SJ

  5. Looks like Charlotte will most likely reject this proposal.

    Keep in mind the Raleigh-Duram expansion hopefuls are still expected to submit their bid by the 1/31 date.