County Commissioners pass motion to deed MLS stadium to city

Commission will decide tonight whether or not to bring MLS to Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mecklenburg County Commissioners voted in favor to deed over to the city in funding a Major League Soccer stadium.

The County's idea of not paying a dime has become a reality, as it is now up the city to fund Memorial Stadium and the Grady Cole Center, the site of the stadium that is being proposed to try and lure Major League Soccer to award a team to Charlotte.

With the vote, Mecklenburg County will allocate the remaining $49 million for park bond projects originally voted on in 2008.

MLS has said if Charlotte does not offer a new soccer specific stadium, the League will go elsewhere.

County Commissioner Pat Cotham is one of the four commissioners who support giving Memorial Stadium to the city instead of putting up money.

"It makes more sense for the city to have the whole deal," Cotham said, adding county money needs to go to certain core projects.

"Parks and schools and the greenways. I want to focus there," she said.

Dena Diorio, the County Manager is proposing to lower the county's contribution for a new stadium from over $40 million to $30 million.

Cotham says that does not make the idea of spending money for a stadium any more appealing.

"No, she could cut it to five cents and its not appealing to me."

A group headed up by Marcus Smith called MLS4CLT is behind the push for a new stadium.

Asked about the idea of the county only donating land but no money, a spokesperson for MLS4CLT said, "There are too many variables for us to speculate on a specific situation but we remain committed to working with local government to bring Major League Soccer to Charlotte."

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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