ST. LOUIS – St. Louis’ new soccer stadium is now on hold due to damage from a city project outside the 22,500-seat arena. Sunday’s St. Louis SC City2 (City2) game has been moved to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE).
FOX 2 has repeatedly asked multiple city officials what kind of work was going on at the Centene Stadium and what was wrong.
A spokesperson for the city said the following on Monday:
“The stadium and the City Board of Public Service have been in constant communication since the issue was identified (last) Thursday.”
A week after the damage occurred, the spokesperson responded to our request for more information with the following statement:
“We have nothing new to add from what we provided earlier this week.”
According to a spokesperson for the soccer club, St. Louis SC, the incident occurred at a City Streets Department project on 22nd Street.
There are multiple holes in the fresh pavement with exposed pipes between Olive and Market streets, alongside the new stadium. The spokesperson for St. Louis City SC said on Monday that work was underway to assess the damage.
It turned out the damage had caused a partial loss of power to the stadium, which could not be repaired in time for what was supposed to be the first game played there, on Sunday.
“…We confirmed, we will not be able to restore full power to the stadium on Sunday,” said Joe Abernathy, vice-president of Stadium Operations. “We are currently working with our stadium construction and operation partners to assess the extent of the issue and better understand the timeline…”
The team’s president and CEO, Carolyn Kindle, said she is sad that there will be no game at the arena.
“We’re very sad about not being able to showcase the new stadium,” Kindle said. “We know our fans, players, and staff will be disappointed about not having this preview event…”
“It’s a huge bummer,” said Mitch Morice of the ‘St. Louligans’ soccer fan group.
Morice said the group had big plans for Sunday. They were going to host a pre-game street party put on by Schlafly, with a section of 21st Street being closed and unofficially renamed, “St. Louligan Street.”
He said he understands construction accidents and delays but not the lack of information coming from the City of St. Louis.
“(We had) probably 1,000-2,000 that were going to be ‘us’ in the supporter’s section (at Sunday’s game),” Morice said. “That’s a lot of people that had to get disappointed… to have this big, gorgeous stadium, and I mean, it is an amazing stadium. We’ve been to a lot of different soccer stadiums in the United States and this is truly the jewel.”
The City of St. Louis did not respond to FOX 2 public records requests under Missouri’s Sunshine Law on Thursday about the 22nd Street project.