Let’s just say this has not been a great year in Sports for St.Louis and for many reasons, the Blues fell short in making it to the Stanley Cup Finals by losing in 6 games to the San Jose Sharks. The Baseball Cardinals fell short in making it in to the Major League Baseball playoffs and, watched their arch rival Chicago Cubs win the World Series for the first time since 1908. But the biggest blow to the Gateway City was the lose of another NFL team for the second time in less than 30 years, when Rams owner Stan Kroenke decided to move the team back to Los Angeles. While the NFL may forever be lost, Major League Soccer executives quickly pounce on the opportunity in landing an expansion team which could add value to a city which traces it’s soccer roots to the late 19th Century. So far the League have seen positive reviews coming from local city leaders and local sports fans with the successful support of both the United Soccer League team Saint Louis FC and the Major Arena Soccer League team the St.Louis Ambush.
While there is huge enthusiasm in landing a Major League Soccer franchise, there are major stumbling blocks that could make things difficult in landing a team. On November 17, Soccer Club St.Louis group which involves Jim Kavanaugh, Bill DeWitt, Tom Stillman and Dave Peacock submitted plans to build a Soccer Specific Stadium next to the historic Union Station in downtown are facing opposition from some Alderman Leaders who oppose the plan in using public funding for the stadium. Then there’s another group, Foundry St.Louis lead by Dan Cordes, another group hoping to own an MLS franchise has offer to pay $80 million dollars without using public money to build the stadium. In late October, Dan Cordes presented is stadium plan near Saint Louis University, but has yet to present a major billionaire businessman that would help finance the group.
All of these twist and turns over stadium finance and ownership is a haunting remind of what happen to this city two decades ago in their bid in getting an NFL expansion team which the city loss the bid because of a last minute rival ownership, headed by Stan Kroenke, wanted full control of the team. Last year Dave Peacock, who is part of Soccer Club St.Louis, tried desperately in keeping the Rams with a $1 billion dollar stadium plan at the Riverfront in downtown St.Louis was rejected by NFL executives and allow the team now owned by Stan Kroenke to move the team back to Los Angeles.earlier this year. Major League Soccer President and Deputy Commissioner, Mark Abbott has already picked Soccer Club St.Louis group to be the ownership of the franchise and so far they have already met with Mayor Francis Slay. Major League Soccer is willing to help the city in landing a team but they must convince a community who have been burned over the last year with the lost of an NFL team and have become weary in using tax payers money in building another sport stadium. At this time we don’t know what Foundry Group President Dan Cordes has at this point but whatever he has to offer it would not be a bad idea in reaching out to him if he is fulling committed in bring a Major League Soccer team because at the end Unity and Trust with city leaders, citizens and propose soccer owners will determine St.Louis effort in getting a Major League Soccer.