St. Louis has been confirmed as the newest franchise to join MLS from the start of the 2022 season.
The announcement means the club will become the first female majority-owned club in MLS history and one of the few in professional sports.
Issuing a statement, Commissioner Don Garber emphasised: “It is with great pride that we welcome St. Louis to Major League Soccer. 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 stronger 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.”
The club will begin its MLS journey in 2022, with the building of a new stadium located in the Downtown West district of St. Louis, the proposed stadium will be a central element to a major development project in the region.
The planned 22,500-capacity stadium (which could be expanded to 25,500), includes a promise that every seat will be within 120 feet of the field, as well as a translucent canopy that will provide cover covering for the fans while allowing light to reach the field.
Club board member Carolyn Kindle Betz commented: “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.
“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.”
Whilst the state of Missouri has been relatively slow to pursue sports betting since the overturning of PASPA, both neighbouring Arkansas and Illinois have made progress with regulating sports betting.
MLS currently has 24 teams competing in 2019, with Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC joining next season followed by Austin FC in 2021. St. Louis will become the 28th team. The league in April announced plans for the league to grow to 30 teams.