Some excitement in the press today as it was disclosed that during Friday’s St Louis County Council meeting a surprise proposal was submitted. Global Sports International, who run Overland Park Soccer Complex in Kansas City, were identified as the potential developer of an 8 field multi-purpose athletic complex in Chesterfield. That proposal would come with $4million from the county, combined with $8million from GSI.
The likely facility referenced is the Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex, located between the two new Outlet Malls on Highway 40 in the flood plains and across from the Chesterfield Airport.
UPDATE – This report on KMOV mentions three clubs. Did AC Portia Via move their focus to the new effort?
The excitement comes from the fact that Mike O’Mara, a St Louis County councilman and former professional soccer player, has been working for three years to get funding for a similar complex in what is described as the outskirts of Creve Coeur Park. I’m assuming that is the SportPort facility that has been the target of an upgrade for several years now.
Can anyone confirm that O’Mara’s target has been upgrading SportPort? Or does he have another location nearby?
It looks like the loser here may be soccer facilities as the two political foes battle it out. Some background – in December a County budget battle between O’Mara, Council Chairman, and Dooley (County Executive) over the $12million budget item O’Mara wanted led to the following feedback
Dooley called the price tag O’Mara placed on the soccer complex unrealistic.
To make his case, Dooley cited a feasibility study commissioned by the county last summer that found a similar facility outside Kansas City cost taxpayers $37 million.
Now Dooley returns with a surprise proposal working with the same organization referenced in the quotation above. So when it wasn’t his proposal, it wasn’t realistic. Now that he’s partnered with them, a new reality is in place.
Of note – Dooley is running for re-election this Fall. His opponent is Steve Stenger and O’Mara has already endorsed Stenger. As O’Mara notes, Dooley’s proposal is a good way to get himself some votes. But without a compromise or one proposal being withdrawn, its like we’ll get neither.