Sports Illustrated soccer writer Brian Straus joined The Ryan Kelley Morning After to provide a national perspective on St. Louis’ efforts to bring an MLS franchise to St. Louis.
Read some excerpts and listen to the full interview below (starts at about 6:30):
What’s the national perception on St. Louis’ pursuit for an MLS expansion franchise?
“The politics are bewildering. I’m amazed people involved with them understand them. Because no one else does. I think most people believe if this gets done, that St. Louis is a foregone conclusion. It’s a market MLS has wanted to be in for a long time, MLS wants to work with the investors and people involved. If they get this stadium built, there will be a team.”
Why does MLS insist on St. Louis having a downtown stadium?
“The answer would be they can afford to be choosy. There are now 11 markets competing for a team. They can afford to be very picky, more demanding than they would’ve been in the past. They didn’t have as much of a choice in the past. They can gun for the ideal. In this case, the ideal is a downtown stadium. It looks cooler. And part because that’s the environment that seems to work well with soccer fans. Soccer fans are younger, they want to get to the bar and restaurants before and after games. This is a younger sport, a lot of Millenials, a lot of latinos. St. Louis is a city that needs a bit of that bump, a bit of that urban core revitalization.”