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COLLINSVILLE, IL-Attorney Jeff Cooper has now begun work to convince the Major League Soccer organization to allow the creation of a new soccer team to fill a proposed 18,500-seat stadium here, after this St. Louis-suburb city approved preliminary plans for the $100-million total development. The project plans on 400 acres, at the intersections of I-55, I-70 and I-255, include 300,000 sf of retail, 200,000 sf of office space, two 120-room hotels and 1,600 residential units, all within site of the St. Louis Arch.

Through his company St. Louis Soccer United LLC, Cooper, a former college player, has been stumping for a team for two years. St. Louis turned him down, but he’s found the next best thing. Now, he’s teaming with Collinsville to annex portions of the site, rezone the property as a planned unit development, begin a TIF process, initiate an onsite tax package to service construction bonds and extend an Enterprise Zone to the area.

Cooper said in a statement Wednesday that the MLS board of governors is looking favorably at the project. “Our powerful candidacy as an MLS expansion market was strengthened significantly, and MLS has acknowledged this to me during our discussions this week,” he said. The MLS has 13 teams currently. Cooper has reportedly not yet decided on a name for the team. He did not return a call for comment.

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