Mecklenburg County Commissioners vote in favor of MLS stadium

- Mecklenburg County Commissioners voted in favor of building a Major League Soccer stadium in the Queen City with a 5 to 3 vote where one commissioner was absent.

The vote took place between county commissioners Thursday morning. The meeting Mayor Roberts called for on Friday for the public to comment on the proposal has since been canceled by the City of Charlotte. 

RELATED: City council cancels public meeting to discuss MLS proposal

It was a packed public hearing Tuesday afternoon over the possibility of a future major league soccer team. Tens of millions of taxpayer dollars is on the line as the Mecklenburg County commissioners face a one week deadline to submit a bid.

Many told FOX 46 Charlotte they see the benefits of a new pro franchise, while others feel now just isn’t the right time.

The push to the ‘MLS to Charlotte’ reached the public Tuesday afternoon inside a packed county chamber hall.

“Now is the right time for MLS and Charlotte,” a local resident said.

Pros for the franchise include growing the community and bringing in dollars to the city.

“We see Charlotte as a soccer hub, and soccer is important for quality life in our community as well as a talent recruitment tool,” an attendee said.

“In addition to economic impact for Charlotte; the addition to another major league sport gives Charlotte added national exposures via televised games exposure, generates millions of media impressions and showcases our city,” another said.

While many don’t disagree with the positives, some like County Commissioner Jim Puckett don’t like the timeline and that tax payers would have to foot the bill – a whopping $87.5 million.

“We’re doing this in a 23 day period and it allows a billionaire to jump in front of the line for public funding over regional rec centers and schools, and other needs that we have,” Puckett explained.

While others fear the city will compromise on the historic context of the stadium, Independence Park, and cause added congestion.

“While having a new stadium is tempting on paper, in reality this project would constrict its own potential impact. The infrastructure does not exist, parking options are few, and the area is heavily developing in ways putting a new stadium in Elizabeth is like putting a peg square into a round hole.” 

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