Charlotte leaders question cost of bringing MLS to the Queen City

- Whether you love, hate, or don't really care about major league soccer, at the end of the day, someone has to pay for it.

"There's a lot of controversy about that. I think we've all been bombarded on both sides of this thing," said Councilman Ed Driggs, representative of District Seven.

Charlotte City Council members did some bombarding of their own. They peppered the potential pro soccer league owner with a plethora of questions.

"We need to be able to talk to our residents and say yea or nay whether or not this should be a good idea," said LaWana Mayfield, who represents District Three.

They asked for hard numbers, why the stadium couldn't go to Eastland, and how the pro team would impact the already existing minor league.

Plus, even bigger questions.

"I think the amount of public money is an issue. At a time in our city when we're looking at income disparities, geographic disparities, racial disparities, there's a lot of priorities out there," said Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

One such priority is public parks.

More than 1,300 people have signed a petition to get the parks they were promised nearly a decade ago.

"We're trying to give a voice to the Mecklenburg county voters who approved a bond package for a park and rec master plan in 2008. 13 of those projects haven't been built. So it's our position that those projects need to happen before the county make an investment in MLS soccer," said Meg Fencil with a non-profit organization called Sustain Charlotte.

The money from the City of Charlotte would come from a 3 percent hotel room tax.

But we're told it's different for the county.

"The county does not have a fund for tourism-related investments whereas the city does have a hospitality tax for tourism-related investments," said Fencil.

Charlotte leaders will meet again to talk pro soccer on August 17. To view or sign the petition, click here

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