Last week I casually mentioned to a few people at the rally at Ballpark Village that one of those measures was likely to fail because there were flaws that they failed to recognize. There was not a lot of negative advertising being made – and you didn’t see a lot of “No to Prop 2” propaganda on the streets. If all the haters out there think that I am full of fucking shit about writing this, take your time reading the entire #MLS2STL trend on Twitter then mouth off.
Flaw 1: The large number of the #STLFC fan base and the usage of Soccer Park is people that live outside the STL City limits. Even if they were in favor of both measures there was little those people could do about it because they weren’t able to vote on it. The lack of regionalism on this vote led to the defeat of Prop 2 because they couldn’t overcome the minority population that were opposed to this.
Flaw 2: The ownership group failed to convince the minority ethnic population to vote in favor of it, much less on what the vote was for. While this group did go after the Bosnian community, the Hispanic and African American communities had a different opinion. One of the well known local Hispanics was openly against it. Some of the earliest returns came from those neighborhoods – and it set the tone for the entire evening of watching election returns. Surprisingly, a large number of the No votes also came from regular readers of the Riverfront Times, which actually supported the opposition groups – and this demographic fits mostly the 18-35 age range that the ownership group was trying to reach out to. The combination of the two prevented the affluent wards that had big support for #MLS2STL from overtaking the lead in the polls for Prop 2. (I wished that the city would provide a breakdown of the vote per ward but that has not happened.)
Update 2:54 PM 4/5/17 – The ward by ward results were released and confirmed the main source of the No votes came from wards with large African American populations and to an lesser extent the Hispanic and Asian population.
Flaw 3: The locals believe that the convention bureau is not telling the truth about the Edwards Jones Dome for soccer. It is common to see football fields double as soccer pitches in the USA and almost every high school in the area is set up as such. The locals wanted the use of that place for a home field in soccer – especially when that place is already supported by their taxpayer money. Almost every MLS team has used an already existing football stadium (NFL and/or college) at some point – most of it on an interim basis until funding of a soccer stadium with a grass field could be secured and constructed. The convention bureau refused to allow the #MLS2STL group to use the dome on a short term basis – and the locals that rely on the dome for their livelihood that resided in the city limits showed up with the No votes.
Flaw 4: Locals perceive the #MLS2STL ownership group as Sugar Daddy Owners of St. Louis FC. This group of owners tried to engage the community and did everything right on that accord. The problem was that they wanted around $65M of their taxpayer money – and with the wounds of Stan Kroenke’s personal screwjob fresh on the locals minds were not willing to part with that money. In reality the locals wanted Kroenke to get lost because they know he doesn’t care about his sports teams (go to Denver and London and you see open dissent by their teams own fan bases and #KroenkeOut is a common trend by Arsenal supporters) so Kroenke bashed St. Louis on his way out. Los Angeles had turned into a Chargers market in the 20 years they didn’t have NFL football and the locals did not bother to show up to most of the LA Rams games in the past season – and the Chargers often outdrew them.
St. Louis keep in mind that the London based Arsenal FC fan base has turned against Kroenke a long time ago. The same has happened on the teams he owns in Denver and LA.