ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A group backing an effort to bring professional soccer to St. Louis takes the next step, unveiling their concept for a stadium and gathering public input Tuesday night in The Grove neighborhood.
Dan Cordes with an organization calling itself Foundry St. Louis believes this soccer-loving market is ripe for an expansion MLS franchise.
“You might say it’s overripe at this point,” Cordes told KMOX News during the unveiling at Urban Chestnut Brewing Company on Manchester. “St. Louis has been in the running for an MLS team for years. Things just haven’t come together for a variety of reasons. Typcially it’s the ownership group, as the financial side of it’s very important.”
Cordes admits that bringing professional soccer to St. Louis will be an expensive proposition, with a league expansion fee of anywhere between $130 million and $200 million, plus another $100 million or so to construct a soccer-only, 20,000 seat stadium.
But one thing working in St. Louis’ favor, Cordes feels, is the recent departure of the Rams football team, leaving a void that he says a pro soccer team would fill quite well.
“They (MLS) see St. Louis as definitely a three-team city,” he explained. “And MLS could fit in there very nicely.”
Right now, the professional soccer league has 20 teams, with plans to expand to 24 by 2020.
It’s right after that Cordes sees St. Louis grabbing expansion slot 25-through-28 as the MLS works on growing to a total of 32 teams.
“We believe that we are number one or number two for those additional four spots,” Cordes said, with Sacremento California being the other leading contender.
He adds that Foundry St. Louis is open to joining forces with MLS2STL, another group pushing for a St. Louis MSL franchise that’s headed up by Dave Peacock, Jim Woodcock and the owners of the St. Louis Blues and Cardinals.
Cordes says right now the two organizations fail to see eye-to-eye on a stadium location.
Foundry St. Louis is pitching a primary location at Grand and Chouteau near St. Louis University, with an unspecified backup site.
“Our site, we think, is a superior site,” according to Cordes. “If they ever want to join forces with us, we’re more than willing to entertain those conversations.”
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