Talks ramp up for bringing MLS franchise to St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Local soccer powerhouses joined forces Thursday to discuss the possibility of bringing an MLS franchise team to the area and making a soccer specific stadium a reality.

The gathering was part of the Ted X conference, discussing big ideas in industries across the United Stated.

In St. Louis, the focus of the conference was on soccer.

The architects that designed a proposed riverfront stadium for the Rams have now designed a stadium just for soccer.

"Our job right now is to talk about opportunity we are not gainfully engaged at this site or any of that other sites that might be in consideration and we are simply here to talk about what it can be," said Eli Hoisington, the design principal for HOK St. Louis.

Hoisington said the key differences between an NFL stadium and MLS stadium is the size. Soccer stadiums are more intimate and fan specific.

Retire soccer player Taylor Twellman, a St. Louis native and MLS analyst for ESPN, said he has seen all of the MLS cities and he personally knows that St. Louis—if handled right—could be a successful soccer town.

"If St. Louis does the stadium right and the ownership right they will be in the top five in Major League Soccer because of the fans and the love of the sport,” Twellman said. “In this state, 4,000-5,000 people go to high school games, then bringing a (MLS) team here, my goodness you really are talking about a top five franchise in Major League Soccer.”