When last we visited plans for an MLS team in St. Louis, voters were rejecting spending $60 million in city tax money on a stadium for one, and the whole idea was falling by the wayside. But it’s been almost a year and a half since then, and the MLS commissioner mentioned their name on the telly recently, so sure, once more into the breach!
An official in Gov. Mike Parson’s office told the Post-Dispatch that officials with the state Department of Economic Development met with Major League Soccer representatives as recently as Tuesday, and that the Parson administration was interested in working on a stadium proposal.
Oh yeah, one other thing happened since April of last year: Missouri governor Eric Greitens, who had denounced the soccer stadium plan as “welfare for millionaires,” resigned in a scandal over using a nude photo of his former hairdresser as blackmail to threaten her into not revealing their affair, and was replaced by lieutenant governor Mike Parson. That Parson is open to working on an MLS stadium plan isn’t necessarily an ominous sign — maybe he just wants to smooth the path for a team owner to spend their own money on a stadium, it’s possible, kinda! — but that his office went as far as to leak it to the press probably means that he’s trying to get some attention for St. Louis in the wake of Don Garber’s latest expansion saber-rattling, which probably isn’t good.
Anyway, MLS may still be a Ponzi scheme, but Ponzi schemes can last a good long while if they’re run well and can come up with a continual supply of new marks. And with both prospective owners and prospective cities lining up to prove Apocryphal P.T. Barnum right, it looks like it’ll be a while yet before any chickens come home to roost.