Messenger: Downtown MLS Stadium Boosters Believe St. Louis Has Momentum

By on March 19, 2017

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  The sign atop the downtown west building hit me like a bolt of lightning.

I was driving downtown a couple of weeks ago and took an exit off of Highway 40 (Interstate 64) that I hardly ever use, the one at Chestnut and 20th streets that will be demolished if a new Major League Soccer stadium is built just north of it. Coming off the looping exit that takes you under the highway, I was at a stop sign headed east on Chestnut Street.

“Momentum” says the sign atop the building straight ahead, directly north of Union Station.

It’s the new St. Louis headquarters of New York-based advertising firm “Momentum Worldwide.” The company relocated to downtown from Richmond Heights last year.

I took a picture of the sign, knowing that it would come in handy some day.

A week ago, a couple of the investors behind the SC STL ownership group that is pitching the new MLS soccer stadium were in town holding a series of interviews. St. Louis voters will decide two issues on April 4, both of which have to pass for the soccer stadium to become a reality. The first would establish a one-half cent sales tax to fund MetroLink expansion and other neighborhood preservation and security programs. The second would dedicate an increase in a business use tax (which will automatically rise if the sales tax is approved) to help build the downtown soccer stadium.

Ask investors Paul Edgerley and Terry Matlack what they see going on in downtown St. Louis and they keep coming back to the same word.

“This is about continuing to build on the momentum,” says Edgerley, the majority investor and chairman of SC STL. The Kansas City native and former managing director at Bain Capital is a part-owner of the Boston Celtics, the professional basketball team in the city where he lives. He came to be involved with the St. Louis drive for an MLS team through a business relationship with former Anheuser-Busch executive Dave Peacock, who is also chairman of the St. Louis Sports Commission.

Matlack, who lives in Kansas City and is founder of Tortoise Capital Advisors, sees a potential soccer stadium right next to Union Station as the next step in growing downtown development.

“Businesses want to locate where they want to live,” Matlack says. “We can be a big part of that momentum.”

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