St. Louis MLS expansion bid backers will soon reveal details on their facility plan, as new stadium renderings should be released by the end of April.
Hopes for an MLS team have been revived in St. Louis, with an effort led by members of Enterprise Holding’s Taylor family and World Wide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh moving the city to the forefront of the ongoing expansion race. It was revealed by MLS commissioner Don Garber in March that St. Louis and Sacramento are the two front runners for the league’s 28th club, pitting two intriguing bids against one another for the coveted slot.
Sacramento’s bid has been gaining momentum in recent months, as billionaire Ron Burkle gives the project a deep-pocketed investor, while recently released stadium renderings show the latest vision for a planned stadium that would be an anchor of a larger downtown development. In St. Louis’s case, the group is building off of a previous expansion bid’s stadium plan by targeting its same site near Union Station, but proposing a revised funding model. (A difference that is key, given that the previous bid stalled after voters rejected a proposed public funding contribution in April 2017.) Like the previous bid, the current pitch is expected to include a soccer-specific stadium.
While details on the design have been scant, more information should emerge in the coming weeks, as the group is expected to release new St. Louis MLS stadium renderings by the end of this month. More from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Carolyn Kindle Betz said in a statement that the group is putting “finishing touches” on corporate sponsorships and stadium designs.
“We look forward to giving everyone a first look at our stadium renderings by month’s end,” she said Friday afternoon….
“Our #MLS4TheLou ownership group loves everyone reaching out with questions over Sacramento Republic FC releasing new MLS stadium renderings,” she said. “The messages we’ve received show the incredible passion our City has to secure an MLS team.
The biggest priority for St. Louis, and one that has been emphasized by MLS officials, is obtaining more corporate support in the form of major partnerships—including those for lucrative areas such as stadium naming rights and jersey sponsorships. This will be particularly important given Sacramento’s addition of Burkle, who not only bolsters that bid’s proposal for an MLS club and stadium, but could play a key role in shaping the development surrounding the proposed facility.
Still, St. Louis can certainly boost its effort and potentially stoke enthusiasm for support of the MLS expansion bid by releasing new stadium renderings. MLS has a clear love for soccer-specific stadiums in a downtown—or downtown-type—setting and with a new design for a stadium following that model in place, St. Louis could underscore its commitment to meeting the league’s standards.
Rendering by HOK reflects stadium proposal from previous bid.
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