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How Yogi Berra Could Help Bring a Major League Soccer Team to St. Louis

Categories: Sports

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Major League Soccer
We're on the map!
Three major international soccer friendlies this year have put St. Louis on the map.

Orlando and Atlanta are on deck to be the next cities to host Major League Soccer teams, but St. Louis' recent games featuring big names like Manchester City, Chelsea and the Bosnian and Argentinian national teams put the Lou on a short list for MLS commissioner Don Garber.

"It's the birthplace of soccer in America, from what I've been told," Garber said about St. Louis in his State of the League address from Google's New York headquarters Tuesday. "So I think St. Louis...could be another great market."

Garber says he sometimes runs into St. Louis great Yogi Berra, who eagerly talks soccer -- not the New York Yankees -- when they meet, a sign of the sport's significance in the Lou.

Watch Garber talk about St. Louis' own Yogi Berra at :47.

The MLS usually keeps thoughts on expansion under wraps, so Tuesday's address was big news for soccer fans.

See also: If We're Such a Soccer Town, Why Doesn't St. Louis Have a Major League Soccer Team?

St. Louis' rivals for one of the coveted final MLS slots include San Antonio and Minneapolis, all of which appear on a map released Tuesday of current and potential MLS team sites.

In order to make a soccer franchise work, St. Louis would need a downtown, soccer-specific stadium, Garber says.

"The downtown formula has been working for us, and it's hard to imagine that we would go into a market where we didn't have that scenario," Garber said in his address. "All the potential stadium sites -- and I say potential because we haven't even begun to look deeply in any of those markets -- all of them would be within the urban core."

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Riverfront Times
Bosnia-Herzegovina plays Argentia at Busch Stadium.
Stadiums bring money and jobs, Garber says. The $35 million project to bring a stadium to Maimi is expected to create 600 construction jobs and employ 2,000 people full- or part-time.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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13 comments
Kristen Lavin
Kristen Lavin

Soccer is amazing, end of story lol. I would go and so would a whole lot of other people who aren't lame.

Elaphrosaurus Morgan
Elaphrosaurus Morgan

they just need to build the rams a new stadium out in the Fenton area since its proven that teams win more outside of city limits and just make the old stadium a soccer field.

marcolicious
marcolicious

So maybe a multi national company can be persuaded to to build a signature soccer only facility in MIdtown where they would own permanent naming rights..... IKEA Stadium? The St. Louis Moderns?

Jason Bryson
Jason Bryson

As someone from St Louis, who now lives in KC... I want to say this. Get a team!

Jon Jon
Jon Jon

ive seen too many soccer teams come and go from here in my lifetime. i dont see the point why people keep trying

Alex Ramatowski
Alex Ramatowski

If we lose the rams no way mls comes here. If we can't support the NFL how could we support MLS?

Nathan Tucker
Nathan Tucker

Go support any the other teams that already exist here, and that will draw investors that want to bring MLS here. Simple.

Nathan Tucker
Nathan Tucker

There's plenty of soccer to support in St. Louis already! The Ambush draw 5k a night in St. Charles, the Piasa also play indoor soccer in Pontoon Beach. The St. Louis Lions play outdoors in the USL D-league (imagine single-A soccer) and there's Fire and Ice, the women's pro team, and they always put on a fun show. Plus there's another pro women's team and FC Bordo STL starting play in the NPSL (same talent level as the Lions) and they're roots are in the city's Bosnian community and they are a sister club of FK Sarajevo in Europe. So we don't need no stinking MLS. The MLS kinda blows anyway tbh

Jeremy Brooks
Jeremy Brooks

Sporting Kansas City are wrapping up their second year in their own soccer-specific stadium. Built state-of-the art, it's also hosted USOC matches, USMNT competitions, and various concerts. It CAN be done, just a matter of knowing how to work the planning/budgeting, and the ever-looming subject of WHERE to think of building.

Vince Walker
Vince Walker

Would love an MLS team in Saint Louis, but the crux is soccer specific stadium. No stadium, no team. The Cardinals are the only healthy franchise in Saint Louis with our venue lease worries and woes.

marcolicious
marcolicious

The rams being gone would create a void and open up more entertainment dollars that could be spent on MLS tix. And that actually would help our chances honestly.

al_fannell
al_fannell

You're crazy! I won't spend a dime on these fake semipro teams.

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