MLS4TheLou offers a peek into proposed stadium design

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St. Louis MLS planned stadium - MLS4TheLou Image: MLS4TheLou / HOK

MLS4TheLou has released conceptual Major League Soccer stadium renderings. The ownership group is collaborating with the design team of HOK and Julie Snow, co-founder of Snow Kreilich Architects, to shape the initial vision for this exciting project, according to a media release on HOK’s official website.

The proposed soccer-specific stadium will have a seating capacity of approximately 22,500 to 25,500, adding to the renaissance currently underway in downtown St. Louis.

“It has been an amazing 36 hours for our effort to bring an MLS team to St. Louis. With Major League Soccer’s announcement that the league will expand to 30 teams, combined with being able to share our initial stadium design plan, we are inching closer to making this a reality for St. Louis,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz.

The overall fan experience has been one of many important factors guiding the initial design efforts. It will include:

  • Fans will be able to enter the stadium from all sides. A major entry plaza will serve as an optimal pregame gathering space for fan processions and post-game celebrations.
  • The stadium will feature a translucent ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) canopy, which provides covering for fans and allows for well-lit spaces. Light will be able to pass through the canopy and directly onto the field, helping game day visibility and grass growth. The roof form will serve as an iconic landmark as visitors approach downtown St. Louis from the west.
  • The pitch will sit 40 feet below street level, creating a unique urban footprint with a below-ground-level playing field for a proudly loud and one-of-a-kind MLS fan experience.
  • Every seat will be within 120 feet of the pitch for some of the best views in soccer. The closest seats sit just 20 feet from the touch line.
  • The stadium design will open to the north and east, creating a strong visual connection to the surrounding Downtown West District and neighborhood.
  • Included within the immediate build of the stadium will be a Downtown West District of mixed-use retail, restaurants and gathering spaces that will be open and accessible to city residents and visitors year-round. An alley for pop-up retail spaces will be available to local businesses.

“Over the last six months, we’ve visited numerous MLS stadiums to review designs and learn best practices in order to be as thoughtful as possible to our proposed stadium here in St. Louis,” said Kindle Betz. “While they are still a work-in-progress, we’re excited to finally give fans a glimpse of our proposed stadium.”

If St. Louis is awarded a team, the stadium will host approximately 18-20 regular season MLS home games and three exhibition games. The open-air venue would be perfectly sized to welcome a diverse program of events such as shows, concerts, e-sports events and others.

In addition to the release of the initial stadium renderings, the MLS4TheLou ownership group will identify supporters and individuals with an existing interest in soccer to participate in fan focus groups to gather input on various fan experience elements related to a potential MLS team and soccer-specific stadium. These focus groups will be ongoing and will cover areas including stadium amenities, food and beverage preferences, supporter group sections, rituals, songs, tailgating and more.

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