New St. Louis MLS stadium renderings have been unveiled, as expansion bid backers detail their vision for a downtown soccer-specific venue.
Led by members of Enterprise Holding’s Taylor family and World Wide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh, the St. Louis MLS expansion bid is highlighted by plans for a soccer-specific stadium that would be constructed at a site west of Union Station. Additional details on the proposal have emerged with the release of new renderings, with Snow Kreilich Architects and HOK collaborating on the design plans.
Under the newly released design, every seat in the stadium would located within 120 feet of the pitch. The estimated seating capacity comes in at 22,500–with the ability to expand to 25,500–and the closest seats would be just 20 feet away from the touchline.
It is envisioned that the stadium design will be open to the north and east, allowing for views of downtown St. Louis and the surrounding area. An entry plaza outside the stadium would serve as a gathering space for pre and post-match festivities, while the facility is also envisioned as a draw for several types of non-MLS events–including high school sports, civic events, youth soccer, soccer tournaments, eSports, and more.
With the release of the new renderings, St. Louis MLS expansion bid backers have provided some firmer details behind their vision for the new stadium. To make the plans a reality, however, backers of the bid still have to work with city and state officials to finalize crucial aspects of the planning process, something that MLS commissioner Don Garber stressed in comments on Thursday. More from MLSSoccer.com:
“We need to finalize the stadium situation [in St. Louis],” Garber said. “They’re further along with their stadium plan in Sacramento than they are in St. Louis. They have work to do with the city, they have work to do with the state. And we’re hoping and expecting that Jim Kavanaugh and the Taylors will sit down with the city and state leaders to get that finalized so that when they come to meet with the league it’s signed, sealed and delivered.”
The reveal of the new renderings comes two days after MLS unveiled plans to expand to 30 teams (up from the previous target of 28) and authorized the Commissioner’s office to advance negotiations with the St. Louis and Sacramento ownership groups regarding their bids. There are currently 24 teams playing in the league, with Inter Miami CF, Nashville SC and Austin FC already slated to enter the league, leaving three spots remaining to reach 30 teams.
Current plans in St. Louis have helped revived the city’s MLS expansion hopes, which seemingly stalled in April 2017 after city voters rejected a proposed public funding contribution to a stadium plan that was included in a previous bid. The existing plans, however, still have some key points that need to be addressed, including funding for the stadium. MLS has also stressed the need for the bid’s leaders to solidify corporate support, particularly in major areas such as jersey sponsorship and stadium naming rights.
Renderings courtesy HOK and Snow Kreilich Architects.
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