Major League Soccer is officially coming to St. Louis.
“It is with great pride that we welcome St. Louis to Major League Soccer,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “St. Louis is a city with a rich soccer tradition, and it is a market we have considered since the league’s inception. Our league becomes stranger today with the addition of the city’s deeply dedicated soccer fans, and the committed and innovative local ownership group led by Carolyn Kindle-Betz, the Taylor family, and Jim Kavanaugh.”
After a public vote defeated a measure to bring soccer to St. Louis with a publicly financed stadium in 2017, the St. Louis ownership group, led by Andy Taylor and Carolyn Kindle Betz of Enterprise Holdings and Jim Kavanaugh, CEO of World Wide Technology, put together a different approach.
“Our ownership group has come a long way since we first announced our bid last October at Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club, and it’s an incredible feeling to now be able to say, St. Louis is home to the first official majority female-led ownership group in MLS,” Kindle-Betz said. “Our MLS team and stadium will only add to St. Louis’ renaissance currently underway and will provide us with a great opportunity to bring together many different segments of the community, uniting people in their love for the game.”
MLS4STL was one of several groups vying to join MLS as the league expands to 30 teams. St. Louis will be the home of a 22,500-capacity stadium near Union Station and was one of two groups — along with Sacramento — with which the Commissioner’s office was authorized to advance discussions.
There are 24 teams playing in the 2019 MLS regular season, including Sporting KC, with three more set to join the league in the next two years. Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC will begin play in 2020, while Austin FC will begin play in 2021.