MLS Stadium Proposal Summary

Here’s a summary of the MLS Stadium Proposal currently being considered by Charlotte City Council and the Mecklenburg County Commissioners:

  • The city and county each contribute $43.75 million toward construction, totaling half of the $175 million total cost.
  • Charlotte’s share would come from hotel/motel occupancy taxes. The county money would come from its capital fund, to which 20 cents of the county property tax rate flows. County officials say the outlay would not affect taxpayers.
  • Team owners Bruton Smith and his son Marcus pay $12.5 million toward construction. Mecklenburg County fronts $75 million of the team’s share, reimbursed at $4.26 million annually over 25 years. County officials liken the relationship to a landlord – Mecklenburg County – making improvements for an expected tenant.
  • The team commits to use the stadium for 25 years, but can leave after 15 years if the team is not “economically viable.” The county can recover damages if the team leaves sooner than 25 years.
  • The team pays $150 million franchise fee to Major League Soccer.
  • The team controls and operates the stadium, pays operating costs, keeps concession revenue and keeps ticket revenue for events except those hosted by the city or county. The city gets six days’ free use of the stadium a year and the county 14 days.
  • The team and county each pay $150,000 a year into a capital projects fund. The county is responsible for major upgrades of the stadium scheduled for years 11 and 21.
  • The team pays for $100,000 study of traffic and parking. The county pays for a $100,000 master plan for neighboring Independence Park, the stadium and surrounding area, and will include a connector from the park to the Little Sugar Creek Greenway in its capital plan.

Bruce Henderson
Charlotte Observer

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