St. Louis soccer team will become the 16th squad to have joined the MLS since 2005. With the soccer team expected to debut in 2022, soccer is gaining popularity in the United States at an unprecedented rate.
St. Louis Soccer Team is Back and It Joins the MLS
After multiple failed attempt to expand Major League Soccer (MLS) in St. Louis, this is finally happening. A new potential ownership group has decided to overlook the stiff business tax and finance a new stadium. As a result, St. Louis soccer is happening.
Enterprise family members – one of the oldest car engine manufacturers in the city and the country – public figures, lawmakers and interested parties have been working on introducing a soccer team in the city.
On Tuesday, August 20, the MLS officially announced that St. Louis will be added as the 28th club starting in 2022 when the new season begins.
Enterprise Holdings Foundation’s Kindle Betz, granddaughter of the founder Jack Taylor, had the following to say commenting on the latest development, cited by the Associated Press:
“Our ownership group has come a long way since we first announced our bid last October at Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club, and it’s an incredible feeling to now be able to say, ‘St. Louis is home to the first official majority female-led ownership group in MLS”
According to Ms. Betz, the arrival of the would-be St. Louis soccer stadium would add to the city’s “renaissance.” Specifically, the project would serve as a way to bring together different members of society, Ms. Betz noted.
The ownership group now in charge of the stadium is joined by Andy Taylor and Jim Kavanaugh, who owned a stake in the city’s first soccer team which flopped because of lack of interest and sufficient funding.
Downtown West District Gets an Overhaul
The project is expected to bring a lot of fresh investment in Downtown West district, including a mixed-used retail space, restaurants, and meeting spaces. In fact, the project will commence a large-scale revitalization of the entire downtown area, the AP has reported.
All of this activity will extend to the St. Louis Blues’ home stadium, who have won the Stanley Cup, as well as Busch Stadium, which hosts the St. Louis Cardinals. To tackle the rather steep local taxes, St. Louis Board of Alderman has decided to slash the tax and allow for these new infrastructure projects to develop.
MLS Commission Don Garber also commented on the lucky occasion:
“St. Louis is a city with a rich soccer tradition and it is a market we have considered since the league’s inception. Our league becomes stronger with the addition of the city’s deeply dedicated soccer fans and the committed and innovative local ownership group.”
While St. Louis has proven to be a hotbed for soccer talent, the city has never really had the opportunity to shine in this athletic discipline. Plus, until recently, soccer hasn’t been invested into as much as in Europe. Yet, the U.S. women’s national team won both the 2015 and 2019 Female World Cups, which has risen the profile of the game significantly.
Bright Future for St. Louis Soccer
Mr. Garber believes that St. Louis indeed remains one of the greatest historic soccer cities. Plus, the latest addition of the club makes for a total of 16 teams to have joined the MLS since 2005 – an impressive feet. Based on Taylor Twellman’s projections – an ESPN commentator – nobody in St. Louis has thought it possible.
Yet, the community and fans’ efforts have paid off. Meanwhile, it’s important to note that several high-profile soccer players from St. Louis already participate in a number of noteworthy soccer clubs around the world, including Tim Ream (Fulham), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen) and Will Bruin (Seattle Sounders).