Soccer surges in the Show-Me-State

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR)--The sound of the St. Louligans greets you as you enter World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton for a St. Louis FC game. This group of passionate fans sets the tone on match day.

“The biggest thing we’ve tried to do from day one is have something for everybody,” said STL FC General Manager Jeremy Alumbaugh.

And that’s exactly what you’ll find at a St. Louis FC game.

Once the kids have blown, bounced, and kicked out some energy in the Blue Chip Fan Zone, you can sample local food and brews at one of the parks various concession areas. When it comes to watching the game, Alumbaugh wants people to know there’s not a bad seat in the stadium.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re in our all-inclusive Soccer Park Club or a GA seat. Every seat is on top of the action. It’s an intimate sports experience,” added Alumbaugh.

You’ll have a chance to get even closer to the players once the final whistle blows.

“Here you’re going to see the players after the game. You’re going to be able to get autographs after the game. Win, lose, draw, whatever happens,” said Alumbaugh.

With the possibility of St. Louis landing its own Major League Soccer franchise in the near future, STL FC is proof soccer in St. Louis can once again succeed.

To get an idea of what an MLS franchise in St. Louis might look like one day, head west on Interstate 70 to the Kansas City area. Children’s Mercy Park is home to Sporting KC. The park opened in 2011 and seats nearly 20,000 fans.

“We reinvented ourselves, which is the hardest thing to do in sports,” said Sporting KC Executive Vice President of Communications, Rob Thomson.

That reinvention led to the club’s second MLS Cup in 2013. Club officials acknowledge their success wouldn’t have been possible without a rabid fan base. Sporting KC has sold out more than 80 games in a row.

“We want to touch fans as soon as they park the car, through the game to the end, when they leave, the whole fan experience is very important to us,” added Thomson.

“The Cauldron,” is home to some of Sporting KC’s most passionate fans. Much like the St. Louligans, you can expect 90 minutes of chants and cheers from this crew.

During our visit we got a sneak peek inside the Sporting’s state of the art locker room where St. Louis native Brad Davis prepares to play.

Whether you’re viewing the action from the front row, a suite, or the nosebleeds you’ll find this soccer sanctuary is top-notch.  With Sporting KC, FC Kansas City, St. Louis FC and professional indoor soccer teams in both cities, it’s clear the state of soccer in the Show-Me-State remains strong.

So score yourself a night of fun by checking what these clubs have to offer.

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