It appears St. Louis’s Major League Soccer hopes may not be as dead as we thought.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Missouri state officials have held recent talks with the league, with a new stadium project potentially on the table:
“An official in Gov. Mike Parson’s office told the Post-Dispatch that officials with the state Department of Economic Development met with Major League Soccer representatives as recently as Tuesday, and that the Parson administration was interested in working on a stadium proposal,” the report states.
“The Parson official did not immediately know which St. Louis sites were under consideration and how many other times state officials had met with MLS representatives. The official did not have any information on construction plans, timelines or who beside the state might be involved with discussions.”
This is likely music to local futbol fans’ ears following city residents voting down an April 2017 measure which would have allowed $60 million in public money to go toward a stadium next to Union Station in addition to private money from Dave Peacock and company’s MLS2STL group.
Had that measure passed, it would have all but sealed the city’s bid for one of two franchises since handed out to Cincinnati and Nashville, with MLS commissioner Don Garber making it no secret he’d like a team in a city with St. Louis’s soccer-rich history.
The league plans to expand to 28 teams with Cinci and Nashville being No.’s 25 and 26. Other candidates include San Diego, Sacramento and Detroit, but the fact the league is still entertaining STL talks is encouraging following the ’17 vote, originally thought to be a death knell.
As far as potential local owners, the PD names Enterprise’s Taylor family as potential candidates, quoting a family spokeswoman’s email:
“Of course we’d love for the city to get a soccer team and are among the many people who believe the city would benefit from having one here. But to do so will take a concerted and collective effort by a number of people and organizations, so it is premature to comment on any specific efforts to do so.”
Stay connected with 101 ESPN for more on this story as it develops.