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St Louis Moves Closer to MLS Team

A second ownership group has emerged in St Louis that appear to be taking the right steps to earn an MLS franchise.

Tuesday at Urban Chestnut at The Grove in St. Louis, a group led by Dan Cordes, officially released stadium renderings and a plan to bring an MLS team to the city. Cordes, a former executive for Express Scripts, is leading a group of 10 calling themselves Foundry St. Louis. This group is entirely separate from the group led by former Anheuser-Busch President, Dave Peacock. Peacock, along with St. Louis Sports Commission President Frank Viverito were invited but declined.

The plan that Foundry St. Louis released yesterday is for a 22,500 seat stadium with costs ranging between $135 million and $150 million. That stadium would be situated on land owned by St. Louis University (SLU) on the corner of Grand Blvd and Chouteau Ave. The stadium would be privately financed, which is a trend lately among MLS clubs (including Orlando City). The group hopes to lure an MLS expansion team along with a NWSL expansion club as well. Additionally the stadium would be shared with the SLU men's and women's college soccer teams. While it's not publicly financed, the group is looking for tax help from the city and state, which is common even when a stadium has some public financing.

If St. Louis were to gain MLS and NWSL clubs they would be perfect cross state rivals for Sporting Kansas City and FC Kansas City (assuming they aren't moved).

MLS Commissioner Don Garber currently has St. Louis on his short list of places he'd like to see gain an expansion team. They have had moderate success with their USL club, St. Louis FC, drawing several thousand fans per game (though nothing like what FC Cincinnati has pulled off).

The timeline for the next expansion announcement isn't known, but the in the second week of November the MLS Expansion Committee is meeting and then the league's Board of Governor meeting will take place in early December after MLS Cup.

I had previously been skeptical of this second group emerging in St. Louis, but things seem to be progressing. This stadium appears to be fairly centralized in the city (at least according to Google Maps, I rarely make it to St. Louis). What I'd like to know now is how rich are these owners? MLS loves billionaires and I don't really know if any of the 10 members have the wealth to support both of these potential teams in the way MLS would prefer. The most recent MLS expansion fee for LAFC was reportedly $110 million, though reports are that fees could climb to $200 million.

[UPDATE at 10:22 AM CT: I was informed that at the meeting the group has a net worth of $2 billion and are in talks with at least two other billionaires. So I guess that alleviates my concern about having enough money.]

We'll keep you updated as we learn more so Sporting KC and FCKC can have a new in-state rivals they can crush. Below are the other renders provided to us directly from Foundry St. Louis.

Foundry St. Louis