The City of St. Louis deserves this moment.
Tonight, after much anticipation, professional soccer returns to St. Louis when St Louis CITY2 opens CITYPARK with an inaugural match against Bundesliga-side Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Promise there is no typo there.
Not since the days of Slobo has soccer captured the attention of so many in our community.
Just this week, CITYPARK has been the No. 1 story in St. Louis, with features in the Post-Dispatch, KSDK, KTVI, St. Louis Business Journal, and many more. You can’t turn around without hearing about the opening of the stadium tonight.
Since we opened our offices in the city 14 years ago, we can count on one hand the number of times we’ve seen St. Louis buzzing like it is today. And for good reason. Before they’ve even played their first game, STLSC and CITYPARK have entrenched themselves in our great city.
The team almost immediately formed a partnership with the Gateway Region YMCA to give children the chance to play soccer. It selected local rapper Mvstermind to be the club’s director of musical experience. And it launched a free initiative to teach St. Louis children about soccer and life skills.
The Riverfront Times recently detailed an incredible collection of St. Louis restaurants and vendors that will be on display at CITYPARK, like Dewey’s Pizza, the Block, Mayo Ketchup, DD Mau, Pie Guy, the Fattened Caf, Bold Spoon Creamery, Crown Candy, and more.
And when the MLS season kicks off in 2023, CITYPARK will be the only MLS stadium with 100% of its concessions coming from local vendors.
That’s not just taking pride in your team – that’s taking pride in your team’s city.
These efforts are not going unnoticed by St. Louis residents, who already broke the MLS record for first day ticket sales.
When you grow up in St. Louis like we have, you get used to people crapping on the city. (Forever reminder that Stan Kroenke and his mustache suck.) It feels like the city is constantly getting dunked on, which wears on those of us that call it home. And we admit to getting a little PTSD when Centene backed out of naming rights and the stadium flooded earlier this year.
So to have an organization come in and proudly make this city a part of its DNA, well that feels pretty damn great. (Again, get bent, Kroenke).
CITYPARK, STLSC and the city should enjoy this moment. Tonight, the city is the star. Tonight, we’re all proud to say we’re from St. Louis. Tonight is the start of something great in our city, and we can’t wait to be a part of it.