Charlotte may be short on cash, but will table MLS - | WBTV Charlotte

Charlotte may be short on cash, but will table MLS

(Source: WBTV/File) (Source: WBTV/File)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

From Bank of America Stadium to Spectrum Arena, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame - sports structures have changed the face of uptown Charlotte. However, Major League Soccer appears to be on a slower speed.

As she filed for re-election, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts told reporters the City of Charlotte may come up short.

"There's not 44 million dollars from the city for tourism dollars," Roberts said. "We have 30 at the most if the council agrees to that."

RELATED: Mayor Roberts discusses possibility of Major League Soccer in Charlotte

And collective support to up-fit Memorial Stadium may not have all on board according to city council member James Mitchell.

"Thirty million is all we have. Right now I don't think we have enough votes for 30 million," Mitchell said.

This week, the Major League Commissioner of Baseball hinted that the success of the AAA Knights may offer a gateway to MLB in the Queen City, but Michael Smith of Center City Partners feels soccer is the sport to pursue.

"When you flip it over to Major League Soccer, I think this is also affirming for the work we're doing exploring this option for our city," Smith said.

Funds from Tom Murray's Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority is where the city's $30 million would come from.

"We have to give the political leaders in our community a chance to think through this," Murray said.

Meanwhile, the Mayor and City Council members understand this is an election year, and already a crafted message may be in the works.

"So there's been a lot of discussion about taxes," Mitchell said. "I want people to know it's the hotel-motel tax and not your property tax dollars."

The first meeting comes on July 20. If soccer gets the green light from the city's economic development committee, a public hearing will follow, which could lead to a vote by September.

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