ST. LOUIS – St. Louisans and MLS fans everywhere getting a new look for the proposed soccer stadium in downtown.
The 22,000-seat stadium will be built just north of Market Street, across the street from Union Station. Practice fields will be built just west of Union Station.
Carolyn Kindle Betz, head of the MLS4TheLou ownership group, was out of town but the group issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
“First, we would like to thank our partners at the City, State, and MoDOT for their continued support as we work through our plans to get an MLS team on the field by the 2022 season. It takes a collective effort to tackle a project of this scale and we want to be respectful of the process we’re currently working through with them. We look forward to sharing more information as soon as we’re able to.”
St. Louis Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed says the plans look amazing and the stadium will host concerts and other events, making it a top-notch, multi-use facility.
“It’s going to bring in over 300,000 people to the city of St. Louis on an annual basis and guess what they're going to do? Rent hotels, shop at our shops, eat at our restaurants; that creates revenue to address all sorts of issues,” he said.
Patrick Rishe, director of sports business at Washington University, says the location is fantastic, is underutilized, and the plan larger than first discussed.
“I think one section running parallel to Market, you can use it for off game days or wedding receptions, for business meetings, also talk about using it for e-sports events,” he said.
The stadium will be privately owned and the ownership group will pay property tax on land they purchase from MoDOT. The group is also asking for an abatement of the city's amusement tax.
Reed says this is all a win-win for everyone involved.
Construction on the stadium is expected to start in December. The St. Louis franchise will begin play in the 2022 MLS season.