MLS exploring St. Louis as expansion candidate

MLS exploring St. Louis as expansion candidate

MLS exploring St. Louis as expansion candidate

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On May 20, 2015
  • Comments

We’ve always heard how great of a soccer market St. Louis is and now it appears that Major League Soccer is finally trying to get into the area. On Tuesday, MLS Commissioner Don Garber met with local officials and fans to discuss the possibility of the league coming to the Gateway City.

The city is putting together a stadium plan to keep the NFL’s Rams and to potentially snag a MLS expansion team as well. They expanded their plans for the stadium to be home to an MLS team and released renderings ahead of Tuesday’s meetings.

Garber did tell the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he is cautiously weighting the chances in St. Louis. He stressed that there wouldn’t be any expansion to the city until at least 2020, which makes perfect sense when you figure up that MLS hopes to be at 24 clubs by then and has no concrete expansion plan yet for beyond that mark.

But this line is important:

“Right now, we know there are three things that matter: A strong, passionate soccer city – this certainly is. A great stadium plan – there’s an interesting one being developed. And I think there will be no shortage of people who will be interested in owning a team,” Garber said.

That has always been the things that the league looks for when expanding. They’ll have it in St. Louis if all three align properly. Now, I’m not a huge fan of another team playing in a NFL venue like this but if there is some scaled down part of this stadium plan, then it could work. I also think that should the Rams move out of the city and back to LA, it could really open the doors for a soccer specific stadium in the city. But that would require some serious money to be had by a vocal ownership group that wants a team. Right now, we don’t know who would actually step up and want to own a team in this city.

My gut also tells me that this won’t be the last that we hear of St. Louis either. I have a strong feeling that once the league lays out their next round of plans for expansion beyond 24 clubs, St. Louis will be high on their list of priorities again. After all, it is a strong ‘soccer city’ according to Garber.

  • evan

    I bet MLS will eventually expand to 28 teams with new clubs in St. Louis, Sacramento, San Antonio, and one other city that starts with “S”… San Diego!