- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 21, 2010
- 0 Comments
- AC St. Louis, St. Louis Expansion
Now I am starting to get why St. Louis has been passed over for expansion into Major League Soccer these last couple years. We knew going into the rounds of expansion the one thing hurting the bid was the money side. Apparently the money is being drained from their current teams in the USSF Division II and on the ladies side of things in the WPS.
Dave Lange at the Globe-Democrat has a long article on the matter. I’d recommend checking it out.
Jeff Cooper the guy who headed up the expansion bid for the Gateway City is said to no longer be the majority owner of the clubs. Its not too surprising that its come to this. I recall talking with a couple folks in the St. Louis area about a MLS expansion team a while back and they all said that it would never happen with Cooper leading the way because of the money issues. He was never the richest guy and he also struggled in getting other investors to jump on board with his ideas they said.
According to the article another issue hurting the clubs is the cost to maintain the stadium they are using. They currently play at Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park, which Anheuser-Busch Inbev donated to Cooper’s group last summer. Folks there are saying that place is sucking them dry.
It sucks to hear this about this market but at the same time I think MLS should feel pretty good about not going there just yet. They saw the bigger issue that Cooper and his group didn’t see which probably would have meant this club wouldn’t have lasted after a season in MLS is run this way.
I still see a future for professional soccer in St. Louis but it has to be with someone else leading the way. While I love the passion that Cooper has here it stinks to see it coming at a big price for this area. Hopefully something changes quick and they get their act together financially.