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"Right now has come:" St. Louis will get 28th MLS team | Football

Carolyn Kindle Betz did not realize that the presentation she and her family made in Orlando on July 31 would end the excitement. She did not know that the Major League Soccer Board of Governors would vote later that day to award her home town a professional football franchise.

On Tuesday, she was finally able to share what she learned shortly after that vote. She and League Commissioner Don Garber revealed the news of a city that has been hungry to join MLS for several years: St. Louis will be the 28th team to be added to the growing professional football league.

Gaber's announcement, at the Palladium event space near Lafayette Square, represents a remarkable turnaround for an effort by many St. Louisans thought he had died in 201

7 when voters rejected a special sales tax to support the stadium's funding.

"St. Louis, with his incredibly rich football history, not only deserves a team but deserves one, ”Garber told the audience at Palladium on Tuesday. “After two decades of discussions that St. Louis would be part of our league today is the moment. We're here to make a landmark announcement for your city. "

Hundreds of packed Palladium, including fans, business leaders and the region's movements and shakers. They quarreled about their approval, especially when Kindle Betz took the stage to share the good news.

Kindle Betz, CEO of Enterprise Holdings Foundation and grandson of Enterprise Rent-A-Car founder Jack Taylor, plans to enjoy Tuesday's profits.

But the ownership group – Jim Kavanaugh, CEO of World Wide Technology and the Enterprise Holdings Taylor family – does not rest much longer.

About St. Louis hopes to play his first MLS game in March 2022 at a dedicated stadium, that $ 200 million-plus stadium planned for Market Street near Union Station must be built.

It's a task that Kindle Betz said will be ready in time "even though I have to go out with a hammer and nail myself," she said during an interview Tuesday.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has already approved a stadium funding plan, which Taylors has indicated would be "overwhelmingly" privately funded. There is a break in property taxes and some site-specific sales taxes that need final approval, but top city leaders have all signaled support, saying details should be ready in a few weeks.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis Board Chairman Lewis Reed shared the stage with Garber and Kindle Betz on Tuesday.

"This announcement here today is a huge win for the city we all love," Krewson told the crowd before he turned to Kindle Betz and the Taylor and Kavanaugh families. "Without you, we would never have been able to do this."

The addition of St. Louis is also a win for MLS: Garber said it's "hard to imagine Major League Soccer without St. Louis." Louis. "[19659004] The city has a long and proud history in the sport, high youth participation and, now, an opening left by the winding up of the National Football League.

But Garber said that the league added St. Louis to the top of the expansion lists. even in the early years of MLS, 20 to 25 years ago.

MLS was just waiting for a strong "ownership group and a stadium plan." Taylors and Kavanaugh delivered it.

Also disappointed for football fans and Kavanaugh, who was part of a previous ownership group effort, city voters' rejection of a stadium funding plan in 2017 has been a blessing in disguise, allowing the Taylor family to jump in and restore the bid. Ownership is now 100% local, and city leaders say taxpayers are getting a lot better "If not for the unsuccessful vote, it would not have aroused the Taylor group," Garber said.

Upon seeking out the corporate sponge scams, local authorities and the public, "they've done everything right," Garber said.

But there is still much work to be done.

"First and foremost," said Kindle Betz, owners must lock in corporate sponsorship. This is a task that was greatly facilitated by Tuesday's announcement.

"Now we can go in and say we have a team," said Kindle Betz.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber and MLS4TheLou owner group leader Carolyn Kindle Betz sat down with the postal mail before Tuesday's official announcement of an MLS expansion team arrives in St. Louis. Louis.

(Updated) Formal Announcement Tuesday in St. Louis Local ownership group led by Carolyn Kindle Betz of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation and Jim Kavanaugh of World Wide Technology have been praised by MLS Commissioner Don Garber for his "fantastic" effort to secure teams.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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