St. Louis voters reject soccer stadium in major blow to MLS expansion chances

Dan Hamilton
Major League Soccer was likely to award the Missouri city an expansion franchise if the resolution passed Tuesday.

Citizens in St. Louis voted down a resolution to fund a new soccer stadium Tuesday night, striking a blow to the city's chances of receiving an MLS expansion team. 

The $60 million public financing plan was defeated by around 3,000 votes, with 47 percent supporting the measure and 53 percent opposed. 

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With the 22,000-seat downtown stadium defeated, MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche called it a "significant setback" for the city's chances of landing one of four expansion franchises set to join the league over the next several seasons.

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Commissioner Don Garber, who was a strong supporter of the new stadium, said last week that St. Louis would likely not get an expansion franchise if the resolution did not pass.

Earlier this year, MLS announced its intention to expand from 24 to 28 teams over the next several seasons. St. Louis was one of 12 cities to submit a bid for one of the four spots. 

The league will announce its 25th and 26th franchises by the end of 2017, with the pair of teams joining the league in 2020. Teams 27 and 28 will be announced at a later date.