JEFFERSON CITY, MO. A state board approved a revised public financing plan Tuesday for a new St. Louis Cardinals baseball stadium, and team executives said construction could begin next month.
Cardinals president Mark Lamping said the $390 million downtown ballpark -- a replacement for Busch Stadium -- still was scheduled to open for the 2006 season, although financing delays have resulted in a tighter construction timetable.
Tuesday's approval of state tax credits and a bond issuance should help the Cardinals finalize their privately financed portion of the project by Dec. 18, Lamping said. Work should begin immediately after that on the stadium's infrastructure, including the relocation of utilities and streets, the Cardinals said.
Cardinals executives have sought a new stadium for several years, first unsuccessfully asking the state Legislature for a $210 million commitment before finally settling on a plan that relies more on private funds.
Under the current plan, the state's total commitment is about $43 million, including about $12 million in transportation department spending, more than $1 million in tax credits for hazardous cleanup work and the $29.5 million in tax credits for infrastructure work.
The Missouri Development Finance Board approved a revised plan Tuesday under which about three-fourths of the $29.5 million in tax credits would be redeemed before June 30 and the rest in the next state fiscal year.