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Charlotte council still skeptical over MLS stadium funding

Following up its story on Mecklenburg County Commissioners issuing the Charlotte City Council a deadline on funding for the proposed Major League Soccer Stadium, the Charlotte Observer reports the council is still reluctant to pony up its “share”:

At-large member Julie Eiselt – a swing vote on many issues – said she can’t support spending $43.5 million on a new $175 million stadium in Elizabeth, to be built on the site of Memorial Stadium.

One problem, she said, is the location near booming uptown. Eiselt has said she would like the city to look at other sites where a stadium might provide more economic benefits, like Eastland Mall or north of uptown.

She also said she is reluctant to spend that much money on the project.

“I’m not a fan of the location, and if we are going to put public money into it, there has to be an economic benefit to it, and I’m not sure the Elizabeth needs a boost,” she said. “If they want to talk about another neighborhood like the North End, then maybe.”

Republican Ed Driggs said he was surprised by the county’s recent deadline.

“The idea that we’re now dealing with an August deadline is news,” he said. “We still don’t have a proper proposal. I personally haven’t been supportive of an investment like this.”

This good to hear, but still the reasoning is somewhat questionable–first– that it’s an election year and second-the council members made assurances to rioters following the Keith Lamont Hill shooting in its “Letter to the Community” that —according to the Observer— “they would work to improve the supply of affordable housing; police transparency; and economic opportunity.”

Making deals with rioters is never good public policy, no matter the issue.

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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