Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Messenger: Two Steps Back Needed before St. Louis Takes MLS Plunge

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Messenger: Two Steps Back Needed before St. Louis Takes MLS Plunge

Article excerpt

For all of his success, the governor of my youth is known nationally for a nickname with a negative connotation.

Governor Gloom.

Dick Lamm was a three-term Colorado governor who oversaw a great period of prosperity and growth in the state. He's a brilliant public policy mind who continues to teach and write at the University of Denver. But two early political moves defined him.

First, as a member of the Colorado House in the early 1970s, he successfully led a drive for Denver to give up the Olympics the city had already been awarded. Lamm saw a massive waste of public funds building public stadiums that wouldn't bring the economic boom promised.

Then, when running for governor, he gave a speech supporting the concept of physician-assisted suicide in which one phrase "duty to die" was taken out of context to suggest Lamm was telling the elderly to get out of the way.

In fact, he was predicting the growing health care crisis our country has been enmeshed in for more than a decade now, with rising costs to care for a growing elderly population proving to be unsustainable.

Gov. Lamm may have been a bit of a Gloomy Gus, but he was also right.

It is in that spirit that I continue to be concerned about the St. Louis love affair with building a new stadium any new stadium to lure a professional team.

First it was the NFL, now it might be Major League Soccer. The Post-Dispatch's David Hunn reported Friday that MLS Commissioner Don Garber is ready to become seriously involved with helping St. Louis identify an ownership team, a stadium site and financing scheme. An expansion team could be awarded as soon as 2020.

At its core, this is great news. I grew up playing soccer, and coached it until my older children were teenagers. I religiously follow the U.S. men's national team, texting strategy with my son as we watch even the most meaningless friendly, dissecting Coach Jrgen Klinsmann's every maddening move.

St. Louis is a soccer hotbed, from its nationally recognized youth teams, to its soccer-crazy Bosnian population, to its small but rabid support of lower-level squads like St. Louis F. …

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