by Sam Hieb
With a 5-3 vote, the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners did an abrupt u-turn (as the Charlotte Observer puts it) agreeing to provide only the land for the proposed $175 million, 20,000-seat stadium that would house a Major League Soccer expansion franchise in Charlotte:
As part of the original deal, Mecklenburg County would have paid $71.25 million for the stadium next year and then another $30 million for fiscal year 2020. After that, the county would have collected lease payments of $4.25 million a year from the potential soccer team.
Now, the county is only providing the land for the proposed $175 million, 20,000-seat stadium. But the remaining balance – more than $100 million – would have to be covered by the ownership group, headed by race track executive Marcus Smith, or the city.
Now we will see if the stadium site alone is enough to make the city —and/or ownership group head Marcus Smith–come up with the rest of the money. Stay tuned—the Charlotte City Council meets later this month to discuss their end of the deal.