St. Louis Soccer United

Attorney Jeff Cooper and the development group St. Louis Soccer United have unveiled a 400-acre development project that would include an 18,900-seat soccer specific stadium, a hotel, at least two restaurants, about 1,000 single-family homes, several youth soccer fields and nearly 500,000 square feet of office and retail space.

The site is located at the intersection of 255 and Horseshoe Lake Road, eight miles east of St. Louis, in the town of Collinsville, Ill.

According to the St. Louis Dispatch, “St. Louis has a strong soccer heritage. A St. Louis team would create a natural rivalry with franchises that already exist in Kansas City and Chicago. St. Louis University is consistently among the NCAA’s leaders in soccer attendance, and there are many players with St. Louis roots in the league. Additionally, preps soccer thrives here in relation to most other markets.”

“St. Louis is one of several cities working to get a team before the league settles at 16 franchises. (The league currently has 13 teams, and an expansion team in San Jose, Calif., will start next year.) But the league won’t consider a city for expansion unless it has an appropriate venue, preferably an 18,000-seat soccer-specific stadium that the team controls. Without that, it’s difficult for teams to show a profit.”

St. Louis Soccer United will be competing with Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia, New York, Vancouver, Montreal, and Phoenix for expansion spots. After the addition of San Jose, there will be 7 teams in the West Division and 7 teams in the East Division. That means that the MLS will probably look to add 1 Western team and 1 Eastern team. Geographically St. Louis is in the Midwest, but it would probably be placed in the Eastern division (Chicago and Kansas City are in the East division). Thus, MLS officials will have to decide if they want a team in Philadelphia, New York, Montreal or St. Louis.

Eventually I think that MLS officials will have to restructure the divisions, and realign the divisions or make one large division — this is the way every European league does it.


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