The St. Louis Regional Chamber hosted a Missouri Public Affairs Network meeting on Friday, March 10th, featuring SC STL executive committee member and former Anheuser-Busch President Dave Peacock. SC STL is the potential ownership group for a Major League Soccer expansion team in St. Louis and is supporting Proposition 2, which would direct a use tax revenue stream towards a publicly owned and privately maintained stadium for soccer and other public events. Proposition 2 will be on the ballot in the City of St. Louis on Tuesday, April 4th.
Peacock explained that Proposition 2 is linked to Proposition 1 so the stadium revenue only passes if Prop 1 also passes. Proposition 1 provides funds for economic development, MetroLink expansion, public safety, jobs training, and neighborhood development. Peacock noted the importance of having a public vote on large-scale economic development issues such as stadiums, acknowledging the important lessons from the Rams process.
Peacock told the story of how the ownership team came together, and how trust and personal relationships were essential to making it happen. He also stressed that this ownership group, unlike similar endeavors in the past, has a vested interest in the St. Louis region. He talked about how “sports can galvanize a community like no other” and that this project is all about “creating jobs and building a better city.” The ownership group is looking for $60 million in public funds to spur $255 million in private investment. He spoke to the idea that the “national media narrative is negative” about St. Louis and that the city wants a win, and this would be a big win for the region. As a contrast to his experience with the NFL, Dave said, “I can assure you, the [MLS] league wants to be here.”