St. Louis — Major League Soccer is coming to the Show-Me State, as sources with knowledge of the decision said the league plans to announce next week that St. Louis will be awarded an MLS expansion team. Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the story Wednesday.
The league plans to hold an event Tuesday in St. Louis, although sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the news was not yet public.
A St. Louis ownership group, led by Carolyn Kindle Betz and Jim Kavanaugh and named “MLS4TheLou,” met with the league’s expansion committee last month in New York City and with the full board of owners at the MLS All-Star Game in Orlando, Florida, in an effort to pitch St. Louis as an ideal destination for an expansion team. League commissioner Don Garber has been vocal about the impressiveness of the expansion effort.
This is not the first effort the city has made to bring in an expansion team. In April 2017, a group led by Kavanaugh couldn’t secure $60 million in public funds for a stadium when a business-use tax was rejected by city voters.
The new leaders, joined by Enterprise’s Taylor family, have come forward with a new plan that will see the $250 million stadium be financed mostly by private funds, and the group will cover the $200 million expansion fee.
Final plans for financing and team details haven’t been revealed publicly, but the St. Louis expansion team hopes to begin play by 2022.