The investors trying to bring Major League Soccer to St. Louis also want to consider bringing in a professional women’s team, they announced Thursday.

Less than a week before Tuesday’s election, the ownership group SC STL said in a news release that it would explore getting an expansion franchise with the National Women’s Soccer League if voters approve Propositions 1 and 2. Both propositions must pass in order to secure $60 million in public financing for a 22,000-seat downtown stadium.

Proposition 1 is a half-cent sales tax increase for MetroLink expansion. If approved, that sales tax increase would trigger a corresponding increase in the city’s use tax on large out-of-town purchases by city businesses. Proposition 2 would dedicate much of that new use-tax revenue to funding a stadium.

The NWSL, on the verge of its fifth season, currently has 10 teams and is associated with the U.S. Soccer Federation and Canadian Soccer Association. Seventeen players in the league, including Ladue Horton Watkins High School alumna Becky Sauerbrunn, are members of the U.S. Women’s National Team roster.

“Recalling that our U.S. Women’s National Team drew 35,000 fans to downtown St. Louis two years ago, I think an NWSL team in St. Louis would have potential for success in the new stadium,” U.S. Soccer Federation Secretary General and CEO Dan Flynn said in a statement .

The league plays a 24-game schedule, with 12 home and away games each. The league recently struck a three-year broadcast deal with the Lifetime cable network to broadcast one game every weekend.

The last professional women’s team in the city, St. Louis Athletica, folded in 2010 after that team’s ownership group struggled financially. They played in the now defunct Women’s Professional Soccer league that folded two years later.

Source: ST.Louis Post-Dispatch

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