St. Louis has felt like a front-runner for a Major League Soccer expansion team for some time. The region has even been sorta close to landing a team before. But it wasn’t until the Los Angeles Rams left town that the possibility became likely.
Now we can add to the positive vibes another nod from MLS Commissioner Don Garber. He’s been complimentary of the city before, but when asked this week again about expansion, he singled out Sacramento, which has a plan and funding in place to build a stadium, and St. Louis.
Barber stated that what St. Louis lacked in the past was a viable stadium option. He thinks we’re close. He thinks investors are lining up, and he thinks the Rams leaving provides an opening for a new professional St. Louis franchise.
We’ve tried to envision how St. Louis can best capitalize on this opportunity, how it can design a stadium that gives as much to an urban environment as it takes, something stadiums almost never do. We’ve shared some of those ideas. [See the SPACE design exercise here]
But ultimately, we want to drive a larger discussion, to truly invite in St. Louisans to actively engage in the process of building a better city. We did just that with our MLS Stadium design open house.
The result was a energized night of trading ideas, considering options, and dreaming of an MLS future for St. Louis. There were survey questions, an open call for comments, and maps to indicate where a stadium should be built. Popular locations included the north riverfront and Downtown West (see images).
What did attendees tell us? A survey of provided input:
Name the St. Louis MLS Team:
Brew City Athletic Club
St. Louis United
The Hustlin’ Parabolas
St. Louis Flow
Preferred Stadium Location:
St. Louis City
Preferred Stadium Capacity:
21-24K (close second: 25K+)
Preferred Transportation to Stadium:
Public transit (MetroLink, MetroBus)
Preferred Funding Source:
Most Likely to Impact Your Attendance:
Stadium location (over star power of players and ticket price)