The ownership group for Major League Soccer’s St. Louis team unveiled their broader vision for an entire mixed-use stadium district to be located in the city’s Downtown West area.
As part of their updated stadium site plan, the proposed MLS stadium will now expand north of Market between 20th and 22nd Streets, connecting Downtown West between Union Station, south of the stadium and businesses on Olive Street and further north.
In working with both city and state officials, and in partnership with HOK and Snow Kreilich Architects, the ownership group wanted to ensure the new stadium and surrounding district would continue St. Louis’ growth and revitalization alongside important community projects like Great Rivers Greenway and the developments at Union Station. The new stadium site will not only extend the Gateway Mall, but will also help direct it to the north and south.
The 22,500-seat stadium is open and transparent. It provides visual connections to the city from the bowl and glimpses from the city into the pitch. The scale and form are drawn from the stadium’s urban context. Its form is based on a simple, flat portico created by a horizontal canopy and tall, slender columns that frame the upper seating bowl. Yet this project is much more than a stadium. The design conceives a new stadium district as an extension of this beautiful sport, supporting movement, community celebrations, healthy foods, music and a variety of outdoor activities.
“Our vision is to create a district around our proposed MLS stadium that will get people excited to visit Downtown West, not only before and after games, but on non-game days as well,” said owner Carolyn Kindle Betz. “We believe this district will not only be the heart of St. Louis soccer, but a special piece of downtown that will fuel the renaissance currently underway.”
MLS Commissioner Don Garber shared his confidence in the St. Louis-based ownership group to create a stadium and surrounding district unique to St. Louis “Since awarding Major League Soccer’s 28th team to St. Louis in August, it is obvious the MLS4TheLou ownership group has been working hard to create a world-class stadium along with adjacent training fields and team headquarters in a single downtown location, which is unprecedented for MLS,” Garber said. “While there is work to be completed, we commend all who have been engaged in this process and we believe this comprehensive stadium plan will not only deliver great benefits to St. Louisans for years to come, but also serve as a model for future professional sports teams in the U.S.”
The area of primarily undeveloped land immediately west of Union Station will now serve as a key spot for the team’s headquarters, practice facility and sites for future development. When combined with the new proposed stadium footprint north of Market, the entire project will result in the development of approximately 31 acres in the area from I-64 north to Olive. Along with Union Station and the western portion of the Gateway Mall, this future development will help transform Downtown West into a flourishing urban activity hub, perfect for hosting music festivals, youth sports tournaments and charity events, all anchored by an MLS stadium.
As part of the updated proposed stadium plan, the ownership group plans to assume all future risk for this development and own the stadium and practice facility.
“We are very excited the ownership group is moving forward with its plan to own both the stadium and the practice facilities for the city of St. Louis’ new MLS team,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson. “I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen of the plans so far and am very much looking forward to spring 2022. People from all over St. Louis will benefit from this new addition to our city and this new soccer team that will represent the best of St. Louis.”