Stadium Finance

Idiot Starts GoFundMe For MLS Soccer Stadium Scam

Don't give your money to millionaires

Stadium Finance
AFP/Getty Images
Apr 07, 2017 at 10:57 AM ET

Some St. Louis-based dingus who really, really wants his hometown to be named Major League Soccer’s next expansion city has come up with a cunning plan: hold an e-bake sale for SC STL’s down-on-their-luck gaggle of rich dudes.

On Wednesday, St. Louis city residents (rightly) voted down a measure that would have redirected $60 million from the public coffers to partially fund the construction of a new, 22,000-seat downtown soccer stadium. Instead, the increased sales tax will be used on things St. Louis desperately needs: housing, infrastructure, and other public services. (And for everyone screaming SC STL’s rubber-stamped talking points that “no new taxes” would be spent, save for a use tax on out-of-state business spending and a ticket tax for those who attend the games, cram it.) Proposition 2 lost, despite a million-dollar get-out-the-vote campaign, because the city’s poorest, majority-black citizens came out in droves to put an end to this scam.

Barring a rejiggered proposal from SC STL and/or city aldermen, a team’s not coming to town. That’s a shame, really, because there definitely is a market for soccer in St. Louis, if only MLS Commissioner Don Garber did not make public spending for stadiums the hill he’s chosen to die on.

To square this particularly dumb circle, Cody Steffen, who claims he is a St. Louis soccer fan, has put together a GoFundMe campaign, hoping to raise the $60 million from his fellow local soccer enthusiasts online. The funds would then be deposited squarely in the pockets of SC STL’s Bain Capital execs, venture capitalists, and hedge fund managers who can’t for the life of them figure out how to raise eight figures. Go figure.

“Bring MLS to St. Louis,” Steffen writes [emphasis his]. “Show that there are people all over the St. Louis area that are willing to give their hard earned money to support this great opportunity.”

As of this writing, he has raised a little over $8,500 of the $60 million that’s (not) needed, though he hasn’t set a deadline to reach his goal. In the page’s FAQ section, Steffen says that should he not find enough nitwits willing to light their hard-earned currency on fire, “We will give the donors back their donations. Unless the donors see fit to donate the money to a St. Louis based charity(preferably a soccer based charity).” [sic]

“This is of course tricky because we would all have to agree on one,” he continues. “Which we can all come together as one and decide what is in the best interest of the donors, which we can all discuss once we cross that bridge. (Your charity suggestions are welcome in the meantime if we decide to go this route.)”

Yes, good idea. Instead of just asking Steffen’s new internet pals to give to any number of charities that could use an infusion of cash, he’s redirected the energy of unthinking—and right now, kind of pissed off—fandom towards this. Right now, many families trying to navigate the U.S.’s still-broken health care system and facing bankruptcy or worse have to turn themselves into their own public relations machine and pray that their online fundraisers go viral.

Do not give Cody Steffen, and, by extension, SC STL, a single penny.