MLS for STL

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MLS for STL

 Caroline Kindle Betz and MLS Commisioner Don Garber at the MLS team announcement on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Caroline Kindle Betz and MLS Commisioner Don Garber at the MLS team announcement on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Photo courtesy of Macey Warren.

Caroline Kindle Betz and MLS Commisioner Don Garber at the MLS team announcement on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Photo courtesy of Macey Warren.

Photo courtesy of Macey Warren.

Caroline Kindle Betz and MLS Commisioner Don Garber at the MLS team announcement on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Abby Prywitch, Managing Editor

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It’s official: starting in the 2022 season, St. Louis will have a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion team playing in the league. Ever since the Rams left in 2015, St. Louis fans have felt a void in professional sports.

“Our families have deep roots in St. Louis and this project has always been bigger than soccer. We truly believe an MLS team and stadium will have a positive impact on this city,” Spokesperson Macey Warren said.

Senior MJ Fritz was excited when he heard that St. Louis would officially be getting an MLS team, but he said he was expecting it all along.

“I’m most excited for St. Louis getting to show the rest of the world that this isn’t just a baseball town and we’ll have a great fan base for the MLS team,” Fritz said.

Now that the team is secured, there is a lot of work to be done for the team to be ready to go for the 2022 season.

The ownership group is lead by Carolyn Kindle Betz, who is the president of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation. The groups goal has been to secure a privately financed team and stadium that would bring many benefits to St. Louis.

“We have come a long way in such a short amount of time and we had so many great people working with us tirelessly to make this bid a success. The support of the City and State officials, the business community and, of course, every fan in the city and region played an important role in how quickly we were able to pull our bid together,” Warren said.

Currently they are working on finishing the stadium plan, along with continuing to work with businesses throughout the community to finish arranging corporate sponsorships.

The soccer stadium is being built next to Union Station.

“St. Louis downtown west is the perfect location for our MLS stadium because it will sit as a key connection between the Gateway Arch and Forest Park, adding to St. Louis’ downtown renaissance currently underway,” Warren said.

The MLS team provides an opportunity to bring together the community and ultimately unite people in their love for the game.

“We are excited to continue to instill the passion for soccer in all St. Louis fans with this team, and by continuing to work with organizations like Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club, St. Louis Public Schools and Ray Leisure Soccer Park Complex project to further the love of soccer,” Warren said.

The MLS team is anticipated to bring many social and economic benefits to  St.Louis.

“We believe an MLS team will put St. Louis on the international map, bringing more tourism, revenue and potentially creating even more jobs, giving more reasons for international talent and businesses to choose St. Louis,” Warren said.

The metro area will likely see big economic benefits from the soccer team, but that’s not the only advantage an MLS team can bring to the city.

“We’re proud to start up something that will positively affect the whole St. Louis region, stand up for the City we love and stay invested in the City as a part of the many people that are working to move the St. Louis region forward, which the STLMade movement has been shedding a light on,” Warren said.

Throughout the process of getting everything ready for the 2022 season, MLS will be looking to the St. Louis community to voice their opinions as well. They are just beginning the formal process of determining the team name, colors and marks.

“We’re also conducting a survey for St. Louisans to voice their opinion on the new team’s identity. We look forward to providing more information as we move towards kicking off in 2022 and fans can stay updated with all the latest news by signing up for updates at MLS4TheLou.com,” Warren said.

The St. Louis team will also make history in another way.

“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,” Warren said.