Design firm seeks public feedback about its MLS stadium designs

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - There are no concrete plans for Major League Soccer in St. Louis; but that isn’t keeping creative minds from carrying on the conversation.

The firm that came up with designs for a MLS stadium is seeking input from the public.

“It’s an open-ended invitation. Anyone who cares about not just a stadium, but soccer and urban development in St. Louis, will get something out of it,” Space Architecture + Design Director of Development Alex Ihnen said.

Space will host an open house Thursday evening. Attendees will have an opportunity to weigh in on what they think a MLS should look like.

“We’ll have a lot of questions, so people can provide feedback about where they might want to see a stadium, how big they think it should be, some of the amenities they want to see around it,” Ihnen said. “So we can get a feel for what the public really wants.”

Renderings of MLS stadiums in other cities will be on display. Most of them feature a seating capacity of 18,000-20,000, and are located in urban environments. Ihnen said the trend for MLS is to build stadiums in more concentrated urban areas, rather than large open spaces surrounding by parking lots.

“What they find is a lot of their fans want to take public transit to the stadium. They want to ride their bike to the stadium. And they don’t necessarily want to go to a luxury suite and spend six hours eating. They want to have their favorite bar across the street, and then walk over to the match,” he said.

Space re-introduced its own renderings for a MLS stadium in January. The design featured a sunken stadium that would sit adjacent to the iconic Union Station in downtown St. Louis. The images generated so much conversation that many mistook them for actual plans.

“I think people are really attached to pictures. And so you have a drawing of a stadium or a project, and people assume that’s what’s going to happen. But a lot of time what these drawings are, a way to kick off a discussion,” he said.

The open house will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at Space Architecture + Design, located at 4168 Manchester Avenue in St. Louis.

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