Madi Sundling, Staff Writer
It is safe to say that St. Louis has a deeply embedded love for sports. St. Louis Cardinals fans have an unmistakable love for the game and stay loyal to the end. More than 240 Major League Baseball players across the league were asked in a survey who were the best fans in baseball. The answer? You guessed it—St. Louis. Our city came in first with 23.2 percent of the vote, then the Boston Red Sox with 18.8 percent and in third place the Cubs with 13 percent.
The city’s love for sports goes beyond baseball. Support for Blues Hockey isn’t much different. Despite the 50 year Stanley Cup dry spell, Blues fans hang in there with the hockey team for every win and loss. This year especially, the city is getting excited about hockey, noticing that the team is adding some big players to the roster, as well as picking up on the players determination and passion to play. If that isn’t enough, the common fan phrase “bleed blue” in the Blues hockey world echoes the player’s dedication to the game.
Finally, we can recall the departure of the Rams football team and the upheavals it caused in the St. Louis sports world. Although the team left a couple of years ago now, St. Louis still feels the scars of their abandonment. Apparently, St. Louis wasn’t good enough for the Rams. Stan Kroenke blamed it on the fact that St. Louis wasn’t a three professional team market.
If Major League Soccer and St. Louis officials can cooperate and establish a soccer stadium and extension team, then Kroenke’s statement can be put to the test.
For the past few years, news of adding a soccer stadium to St. Louis has been buzzing around. So far, budgeting deals have failed. Adding such a stadium is undeniably and complexly tied with politics and campaigns, as government officials are the make-or-break of the deal. Stadium funding was turned down last spring in a public funding proposition, mostly consisting of a sales tax. The propositions were only 3,300 votes short of approval. While it didn’t take St. Louis completely out of the bid, it did delay planning and require those in favor of the stadium to rethink a solution.
Who exactly is in favor? Many of the supporting votes came from St. Louis’ younger generation, families, Catholics and democrats, but still the proposal struggled to appeal to older voters and African-Americans, particularly in the north city ward. MLS officials were recently reported talking to St. Louis government officials, but according to KMOV4, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said, “It’s a complex process and its too early to comment right now.”
For those who want to see a soccer stadium make its home in St. Louis, things are looking up. In a statement given to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MLS Executive VP Dan Courtemanche said, “We continue to believe that with the right ownership group, stadium plan and support from the corporate community, St. Louis could be a successful Major League Soccer market.”
All we can do is wait to see whose predictions are right as to whether St. Louis can host a soccer stadium—Kroenke or Courtemanche.