Joy to the world, a new team might be here!
By: DJ McGuire
Nearly a year ago, on Jan. 12, 2015, the team we knew as the St. Louis Rams became the Los Angeles Rams and the city of St. Louis lost its second NFL franchise.
This loss was a huge blow to many fans and the city as a whole.
However, this left an opening for a new sport to enter the city — professional soccer.
Even before the Rams announced they were leaving, rumors were everywhere about potential stadium plans, ownership groups and potential Major League Soccer interest in St. Louis.
The MLS currently has 20 teams that span from Portland to Orlando and even two Canadian teams as well.
The MLS has clearly showed interest in expanding dramatically, since six teams have joined since 2011 and more will join in the future.
These cities getting expansion teams are Atlanta, Minnesota, Los Angeles and Miami.
On Nov. 17, 2016, it was announced that an ownership group and planning committee had come together for a potential MLS team in St. Louis.
This group is known as SC STL, which aims towards bringing an MLS expansion team to St. Louis. Chairman of this group is Paul Edgerley, a former exceptive at Bain Capital, who will also become the lead owner.
Students here at St Louis Community College Meramec seemed to have positve reviews about the plan.
Part-time student Ryan Schweitzer shared some of his opinions about this plan.
“Honestly like anything it will have good and bad aspects, however in this situation I believe the good will outweigh the bad,” Schweitzer said.
Another student Shadrack Seeru, who is a soccer fan and used to play the sport himself, seemed very excited about the plan.
“It’s pretty cool,” Seeru said.
“Soccer is not that popular in the U.S., so I think it’s a great chance for people here to know how popular the sport is.” The estimated cost for the stadium is a little less than 200 million dollars.
The stadium will be located just west of Union Station and will provide very scenic views of downtown St. Louis.
It will be expected to seat 20,000 fans, but can be expanded to house 28,500 people.
“It is a not a bad location, a lot of attractions and hotels are near the stadium”, Schweitzer said.
Schweitzer said that it could also help improve the business of small local businesses in the area.
One way it could directly impact the students of Meramec, is that public money would be put toward the stadium plan.
SC STL expects that 80 million dollars will have to come from the public.
This could raise St. Louis residents’ taxes slightly.
Students however seem willing to take this slight increase.
“I’m definitely for it,” Seeru said.
“We spend money on other things we don’t even know about.” Schweitzer was also in support as long as less than half of the money for the stadium comes from the public.
Another key member of SC STL is Dave Peacock, who was also head of the failed Rams stadium plan.
Seeru said he is hopeful, and believes that the stadium plan will succeed but is uncertain.
“My confidence for the plan is very limited,” Schweitzer said.
He continued that much of this uncertainty comes from the previous failed Rams stadium plan.
In the end though, Schweitzer believes that this can only help the city.
“In the long run it will pay off because even though you have entrance fees, and rental fees for a professional soccer team, you will eventually make a huge profit,” Schweitzer said.
Nick McLafferty, a first-year student, summed the situation up best when he said, “instead of football, we’re getting fútbol.”