Publicly-Funded Stadiums 'Completely Ruled Out' By Missouri's Governor-Elect

The city of St. Louis may still vote for spending taxpayer money on a soccer stadium, but the state of Missouri is out.


I'm not paying for this.

Missouri's Governor-elect Eric Greitens told reporters yesterday that he has "completely ruled out state funding for stadiums."

Greitens—who takes office next Monday—had recently affirmed his opposition to public funding for sports arenas, which he called "welfare for millionaires," in a post to his Facebook page. But yesterday, Greitens made it clear that any stadium built in St. Louis for a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise will have to be built without the aid of state funds or tax credits, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The city of St. Louis's Board of Alderman has been considering adding a proposal seeking voter approval of $80 million in public spending on the prospective soccer stadium, which currently is estimated to cost $200 million. The Board has three more weeks to decide whether or not to put the measure on April's municipal ballot, but without state support, the Board may not even bother with a city-wide referendum.

Current Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.)—a proponent of public spending for both the soccer stadium and the disastrous St. Louis Rams football stadium deal—said in December that he supports the allocation of $40 million in state tax credits to clear and develop the inner city area around where the soccer stadium would be built, whether the stadium is built or not.

Governor-elect Greitens says he still hopes the MLS ownership group will raise the sufficient "private-sector funding to bring a soccer team to the state of Missouri," but has been refreshingly (for a politician) skeptical of the rosy (some might say delusional) promises of economic benefit to the public put forth by by the ownership group and the Missouri Development Finance Board, which is currently stacked with Nixon appointees.

Read more Reason coverage on the folly of public funding for stadiums here.

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  1. Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf rode into office on a vow to keep the taxpayers from paying for any new stadium. Then the Raiders started winning.
    “Oakland Mayor Schaaf toots new tune: a publicly funded stadium”…..628893.php

    1. Fucking shill.

    2. “Hey! What about us?” //Oakland A’s

    3. Fucking Raiders. Their fans turn out and fill the bar I go to and shout like children after every successful pass. Not just TDs, every fucking play that gains yards. They were cheering even while getting beaten handily by the Broncos.

      1. And I’m not a curmudgeon about this sort of thing. I like the enthusiasm and camaraderie. It’s why I go there to watch games despite not having a team to root for, because the excitement is contagious. But these assholes suck the fun out of it like a guy who laughs way too hard at a joke.

        1. What do they do for extra points (not the 2-point kind)?

  2. Really? A goddam *soccer* stadium?

    1. It’s America’s sport!

      1. Well, the sport of one or two Americans.

        1. In fairness soccer is way more popular in St Louis than it is almost anywhere else in the country. You could probably fill an entire bathroom stall with local soccer fans.

          1. Orlando did a really good job with their team. Very popular (a lot of vehicles have Lions stickers) and no city/state funding.

            1. It pains me to credit Orlando with something good, but it looks like they hit a home run here.

    2. Yes. A soccer stadium. They’re all over the place in this country, as it turns out.

  3. to clear and develop the inner city area

    Progs sure do love them some poor people pogroms.

    1. That and the fact that it’s a soccer stadium shows how committed they are to making America like Europe.

      1. Europe: come for the ethnic cleansing, stay for the soccer!

    2. The funny thing is that redeveloping the dilapidated riverfront in StL has been a century-long exercise in failure. The Arch was supposed to bring back the whites who were fleeing the city for the county way back in the 50s.

      1. Hell, my people fled to the fucking Ozarks way back in the late 1800’s!

      2. StL isn’t the only city with a long history of failure in that regard. The standard prog response is to memory-hole just about everything that has happened rather than admit that their ideology has massively failed.

  4. St Louis wants to build a soccer stadium? Hahahaha. Good luck with that. Soccer? Seriously?


    1. Hey, soccer is going to be the next big thing in American sport. Really! I mean it, after all I have heard that my entire life, it must be true.

      Though I don’t understand why they need a stadium, just take an empty lot, put some grass down, put a few folding chairs on the edge to hold the fans and you are done.

      1. I mean, we have Pele and everything!

      2. The thing is, that Soccer is not really that underappreciated here. It has had steady growth and I know a few people who watch it, (unfortunately more than I know who watch Hockey, God’s Sport). So, what we see with this stadium is an attempt by FIFA or US Soccer or whatever, to get a risk free public-expansion of their for-profit industry.

        Why do it themselves when they can get it for free. You don’t get to be a billionaire by spending when you don’t have to.

        Fucking shills.

        1. Most of the dozen or so new soccer stadiums that have been built lately were built with private money. Quite a difference from the American sports.

        2. St. Louis is probably one of about 2 or 3 “ancestral homes” for the game going back to the times when soccer was used by baseball owners to fill stadium dates in the winter, before the World Wars. And it was the baseball teams fighting over which of the leagues was to be sanctioned (sound familiar?) that ended up weakening an actually pretty popular sport, which then ended up being nearly killed off for 40 years by nationalism sparked by the wars.

          St. Louis provided many of the players who were on the famous 1950 team that beat England in Mazetenango, Brazil.

  5. Uh, isn’t there a football stadium just sitting there unused in St. Louis?


      1. They turned it into a dirt track car racing venue. Huh.

        1. And it’s still used as a convention center and some other things similar to that. Yeah. The dirt track racing, probably adds too much of an odor of Americanism for the Soccer players to bear though.

          1. Since when is dirt track racing an example of “Americanism”?

            Am I less of an American if I don’t like to watch kids on bikes run around in circles in the dirt?

            1. No, but I have heard Europeans claim offroad racing and such is an American trait, they said with a hint of condescension. So, I don’t offroad either, but fuck them.

            2. You’ve obviously never lived in the South.

        2. “Dirt track car racing venue” is about the most Missourian phrase it is possible to say or write.

          1. And gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “dirtroaded.”

          2. Kenny Wallace FTW!!

  6. Stadiums like this are a great libertarian litmus test. I can’t possibly conceive of a reason someone would be for a publicly funded sports stadium, and still be philosophically libertarian. There are many gray areas we all fight over, but if you are for a publicly funded stadium like in Vegas and such, I cannot believe that the core reasoning is the same.

  7. Publicly funded stadiums work wonders for urban prosperity. Examples in cities that were booming anyway prove it. We don’t discuss examples in cities like Baltimore.

    1. I wonder if there’s correlation between whether a stadium was built privately or publicly, and the prosperity of the surrounding neighborhood? Abe Pollin built the Verizon Center with private funding, and the neighborhood really took off after that. Not sure how the neighborhood around FedEx Field is doing, but that was also built with private funds (other than the roads, which the People’s Republic paid for).

      (I am shocked, though, that Danny Snyder hasn’t asked for a new stadium from the taxpayers yet)

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised.

        Presumably, Abe Pollin and his lackeys put a lot of fucking time figuring out where and how was the best way to build it, since they were using their own money.

  8. Big mistake – this would bring jobs and much needed economic development to the city as well as increasing liquidity in the public finance markets, which is so essential to a thriving economy.

  9. Nothing screams “downtown” like a giant stadium surrounded by parking lots.

  10. GOD I can’t wait for this bozo to leave office. Only 18 more days to being reunited with my precious little frankentrumpkensteins.

  11. Once they lost the Rams, they lost the argument.

    If there were another NFL team that wanted to go to St. Louis, maybe things would be different.

    I don’t see how you get the non-libertarian vote for stadium funding without an NFL team.

  12. So, this is what a libertarian moment feels like. Cool.

  13. “Missouri Development Finance Board”

    We like to call them “Tourist Development Council” ’round here. Dens of iniquity is more like it.

  14. Someone should start a Libertarian group named Association for the Separation of Sports & State. Their motto could be “Fund a sports stadium with tax money and pay through the ASSS.”

    I lived in San Diego when they had the fiasco with Qualcomm stadium. For part of the agreement the owners convinced the city to pay x amount of dollars per ticket sold. It was call a “seat guarantee”. Of course there were lots of “sold” tickets with no one sitting in that seat. What a waste of money.

    I am hoping that more citizens wake up to this scam and tell billionaire owners pay for you own damn stadiums and sports arenas.

  15. Welfare for billionaires.


  16. Not to mention that the MLS season takes place in summertime. Do these people really think an expansion franchise in a second-rate league can compete with the Cardinals in St. Louis?

    1. St. Louis’ soccer history goes back as far as the Cardinals do, and it stuck for a lot longer through and after the Soccer Wars of the early 20th century.

  17. I grew up in St. Louis and I recall hearing a lot about the St. Louis Storm indoor soccer team, though I don’t remember much about it. Seems they stopped playing in the early 90s. I guess professional soccer didn’t catch on then and I don’t see why it would become popular now. I could be wrong though.

    Still if there really was a demand for a progressional soccer team then those interested parties should fund it themselves.

    Not surprisingly though, having learned nothing from the Rams debacle, the government is going to try the same thing again with soccer.

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