ST. LOUIS, MO/March 22, 2017(STL.News) – SC STL, the group hoping to bring Major League Soccer to St. Louis, has reached a “community benefits” agreement with the city of St. Louis. The agreement comes two weeks before city voters will decide whether to approve $60 million in public financing for construction of a new soccer stadium.
The group is pledging $5 million over 20 years to fund youth soccer programs and minority job training and placement. SC STL promises to hire minority city residents through partnerships with the Urban League and Mission: St. Louis. Funds for youth soccer programs would go to the nonprofit Scott Gallagher Soccer Club for distribution.
Details of the Community Benefits Agreement were outlined during a press conference this week with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. SC STL is promising to team up with organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis and the Demetrious Johnson Charitable Foundation to support youth programs in the community. Under the detailed agreement, the community and the St. Louis Public School system will have access to the stadium for amateur sporting events several times each year.
“Our goal from the moment we formed SC STL was twofold – bring a Major League Soccer expansion club to St. Louis and have it serve as the inspiration for doing significant amounts of good throughout our community, with a particular focus on youth and the underserved,” said Jim Kavanaugh, SC STL Vice Chair and CEO of World Wide Technology. “Our agreement with the City holds us accountable, and we promise to meet every term and then some for generations to come.”
SC STL has proposed construction of a 20,000-seat stadium located west of St. Louis Union Station in a bid to attract a Major League Soccer expansion team to the city. In February, the city’s Board of Aldermen approved a proposal to use money generated by an increase in the city’s business tax to fund construction of the stadium. The implementation of the CBA is contingent upon city voters passing both Propositions 1 and 2 in the upcoming April 4th election.