Update To Soccer Stadium Contract Seeks To Address Funding Concerns
Hours before a Metro Council vote on a $30 million bonding measure to buy land for a planned soccer stadium and related development, the team and Metro government officials have amended the contract.
The plan originally locked Metro government into spending $30 million to buy land for the project. The team — Louisville City FC — committed to spending $45 million to build a stadium, and also pledged to lock in about $100 million in other private investment.
But that additional investment wasn't guaranteed.As WFPL reported yesterday, Mike Mountjoy, part of the team's 47-member ownership team, said it would be irresponsible to commit to delivering on that promise.
That worried some Metro Council members, who said it seemed Louisville taxpayers would be shouldering a disproportionate amount of the project's investment — and risks.
Now, according to the Courier-Journal,the city and Louisville City FC have amended the agreement to address some of those concerns.
Here's what it says:
The plan was always for Louisville City FC to pay back Metro government $14.5 million for the city's investment. Originally, that was over a 20-year period.
The contract amendment lays out multiple possible scenarios. One is that the soccer team pays back the $14.5 million over 10 years.
If Louisville City FC doesn't do that, it commits to spend "or cause to have spent" $130 million on the project. That includes the $45 million the team has already committed to spend on building the stadium, which means they're now locked into leveraging $85 million in private investment.
If that doesn’t happen, there's another option. After 20 years, if Metro government still owes money on that initial land purchase (after the team pays its $14.5 million), the team’s owners promise to pay off that balance.
Clear as mud.
Disclosure: Louisville City FC is privately owned by 47 investors. Two of those, Gill Holland and José Donis, are Louisville Public Media board members.