City council did not appeared to be swayed over Major League Soc - | WBTV Charlotte

City council did not appeared to be swayed over Major League Soccer pitch

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

From the beginning of Thursday's meeting, Marcus Jones, who is Charlotte's city manager, expressed that now is the time for soccer in Charlotte, but Mayor Jennifer Roberts countered that argument by saying not so fast.

"I think the amount of public money is an issue at a time in our city when we are looking at income disparities," Roberts told members of Charlotte's economic development committee.

It was another sales call by Marcus Smith who intends to put a Major League Soccer franchise in Memorial Stadium. Council members suggested that Smith may want to look at other places or venues to house the soccer arena, but Smith's heart is set on Memorial Stadium.

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Council Rep. Patsy Kinsey is saying hands off since the stadium is in her district and issues still remain over financing.

"It's 80-years-old," Smith said."I think to be fair to that kind of age, no matter what maintenance has been done on it, eventually it's just gonna old".

City officials told WBTV last week that Charlotte could only come up with $30 million tax dollars when the request was for $46 million.

Tom Murray of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority made it clear that financing will come from the hotel/motel tax.

"The money that the city is considering contributing to the partnerships is coming from a tax called the tourism one tax," Murray said. 

Despite differences of opinions, Smith feels he made a positive showing. "I'm encouraged. I thought it was good discussion, a fair discussion and I look forward to the next meeting," Smith said.

The next meeting with Charlotte's economic development committee is expected to be held August 17.

RELATED: What's next for Major League Soccer in Charlotte?

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