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Public Funding For Sports Facilities, Details On Proposed Major League Soccer Stadium For Charlotte

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charmeck.org
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Is spending $87.5 million tax dollars for a new stadium for Major League Soccer a good deal - if Charlotte can get a team? We hear from both sides and then you decide.

Charlotte is hoping to lure a Major League Soccer franchise to the city. There's some stiff competition from other cities and in order to get into the game, Charlotte needs a proper soccer stadium.

On Friday, more details were released for a proposed soccer stadium which, if approved, would be built on the county-owned land currently occupied by the 81-year-old Memorial Stadium.

The proposed $175 million stadium would require public dollars. Both Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte would have to pony up around $44 million each for a new facility - totaling $87.5 million in public funds.

This week the County Commission will vote on the proposal, but first they'll hear input from the public. Will taxpayers get a return on their investment? Is this a good deal for the city? We'll get the details on the proposal and hear from people on both sides about the pros and cons of public funding for sports facilities.

Guests

Erik Spanberg - senior staff writer, Charlotte Business Journal

Matthew Ridenhour - District 5 Representative, Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. He opposes spending tax money on an MLS stadium.

Julie Eiselt - at-large representative on Charlotte City Council and member of the Economic Development Committee. She doesn't like the proposal as it is. 

(James Mitchell, at-large representative from Charlotte City Council, canceled shortly before broadcast.)

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.