With Montreal all but given an expansion key to Major League Soccer there is still one bid that will be up for grabs, that lovely 20th spot. St. Louis is hoping to be that city that finally gets into MLS. While they already had one stadium option in their initial proposal to MLS, they now seem to have another couple options coming up.
According to Tim Logan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, two more sites are being discussed along with the Collinsville stadium. One site includes a stadium that is with another developer that isn’t even associated with Jeff Cooper and his group that was heading the St. Louis to MLS drive.
Gateway Real Estate Partners recently submitted a proposal to Richmond Heights to build a $395 million mixed-use project, centered around a new 18,500-seat stadium, along Hanley Road south of Highway 40. It’d also include housing, hotels, retail, office space and perhaps a movie theater.
It’s on the site known as Hadley Township, where Richmond Heights and Michelson Commercial Realty and Development worked for three years to try and craft a workable project. That effort ended in February, and Richmond Heights officials sought new proposals.
Interesting that some random developer wanted to build a new soccer stadium. Maybe he was watching Field of Dreams or something and thought if you build it they will come. Cooper released a statement regarding the proposed site saying he is still focused on Fenton (at the St. Louis Soccer Park) and Collinsville.
Ryan Woods approached me with his plan some time ago, but none of our discussions have been serious. In the meantime, earlier this year we acquired the St. Louis Soccer Park from Anheuser-Busch and are committed to exploring that site as a potential home for a new, state-of-the-art stadium for professional soccer. Also, we continue to work with Collinsville, which has been a terrific partner to date. The Richmond Heights proposal is not one that has our attention at this time.
Apparently things are still early in the development stages for everything here but from what it sounds like this new location would be a good fit for a soccer team in St. Louis. Most would agree that it is better than Collinsville, which is a good drive outside of St. Louis.
I think St. Louis still has a long way to go here to get a MLS club. As badly as MLS wants to be in that city they need to focus on getting the right money in their corner for an expansion bid. But seeing a couple new plans for stadiums gives some signs of hope in the Gateway City, small hope but hope nonetheless.