Missouri officials meet with MLS about bringing soccer team to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – Despite previous failures to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to the St. Louis area, the sports league and leaders at the city and state levels have not given up hope.

According to a report from our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, somebody in Gov. Mike Parson’s office said an official with the Missouri Department of Economic Development met league authorities to discuss a stadium proposal.

No other information was made available regarding the meeting.

In April 2017, St. Louis voters rejected a proposition tied to public funding for a soccer stadium in downtown. MLS selected Cincinnati and Nashville as host cities for expansion franchises months later.

Proposition 2 asked city voters to approve $60 million to help build the stadium. The previous ownership group, consisting of Dave Peacock, Jim Kavanaugh, and Paul Edgerly, had offered to pay the $150 million MLS expansion fee, as well as $95 million toward the stadium and any additional costs tied to maintenance and operations.

The stadium would have been built west of Union Station at the 22nd Street exit from Interstate 64.

In the past, MLS Commissioner Don Garber has mentioned St. Louis as a possible destination for a new franchise, along with Charlotte, Detroit, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and San Diego.

The league has planned to expand to 28 teams in recent years, with Cincinnati and Nashville being the 25th and 26th clubs, respectively. Cincinnati will begin play in 2019, with expansion Miami and Nashville joining MLS in 2020.