Saturday, August 11, 2007

MLS Expansion: St. Louis's stadium deal

Co push to bring professional soccer back to the St. Louis area might be about to pay off as his group, St. Louis Soccer United, has proposed a stadium deal to the Collinsville City Council that, if approved, would all but guarantee the city a MLS club.

The $100 million stadium complex includes an "18,900-seat stadium, a hotel, at least two restaurants, about 1,000 single-family homes, several youth soccer fields and nearly 500,000 square feet of office and retail space." Cooper is asking Collinsville to invest $20 million in bonds to get the project started.

As far as the money is concerned, Cooper says, "The city stands to make $40 million to $50 million above and beyond the bonds in the first 10 years. What we're prepared to do is put an $80 million to $100 million investment into Collinsville, and we're asking the city to help us out with some of that with taxes that will be paid off from the project."

If this stadium deal is approved, Cooper believes that it will be ready for the 2009 season.

St. Louis Soccer United launched their web site today to explain their plan for the stadium and for their future club. On the site, they give a great description of the stadium:
The project's soccer-specific stadium will be among the next generation of MLS stadiums striving to capture the intimacy and excitement of the European game. It will incorporate a roof structure which fully covers the seating areas to help mitigate inclement weather conditions and hold in the sound of the crowd. The project design team contributed significantly regarding the stadium's interaction with the surrounding spaces. For example, the orientation of the stadium club and associated veranda to the park and youth soccer pitches (referred to as "the mall") are situated to provide an unobstructed view from the club over the town square and the mall to the downtown St. Louis skyline in the background.
St. Louis is a huge part of America's soccer tradition and it is a shame that MLS is not there. However, it looks like Cooper and Soccer United might just be the perfect group to change all this.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just don't understand this, A city/state in this example; St. Louis, Missouri wins a profesional franchise, then they build a stadium in another state??? maybe its just me but shouldn't the city of St. Louis or even bigger the state of Missouri profet from having a pro team awarded to them? after all the whole idea is that this like all entertainment awarded to a city or state helps it make money from tourist spending money in your city slash state. There should be more to the team then just having the name "St. Louis" attached to it, people should be heading to St. Louis or its Missouri suburbs to experience that metro area... Just an example of this was back in I believe might have been the 60's the Chicago Bears wanted a new stadium built to replace their home at the time (Wrigley Field) and started to plan a deal in nearby Gary, Indiana... Mayor Daley let the franchise know that if that move happens, they would have to change their name to the Gary Bears... people wanting to see the CHICAGO Bears would have to come visit the city of CHICAGO to see that football team.

10:47 PM  

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