ST. LOUIS – St. Louis became the 28th franchise of Major League Soccer Tuesday.
MLS commissioner Don Garber announced that the league has awarded an expansion team to St. Louis.
The team will begin MLS play in 2022 in a new soccer stadium located in the Downtown West district of the city.
The owners of the St. Louis club include Enterprise Holdings Foundation president Carolyn Kindle Betz and six other female members of the Taylor family, making it the first female majority-owned club in MLS history, and one of few in professional sports. The ownership group is completed by two highly respected executives who also have deep roots in the St. Louis business and philanthropic community: Enterprise Holdings executive chairman Andy Taylor, and World Wide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh.
“It is with great pride that we welcome St. Louis to Major League Soccer,” Garber said. “St. Louis is a city with a rich soccer tradition, and it is a market we have considered since the league’s inception. Our league becomes stronger today with the addition of the city’s deeply dedicated soccer fans, and the committed and innovative local ownership group led by Carolyn Kindle Betz, the Taylor family, and Jim Kavanaugh.”
Added Betz: “Our ownership group has come a long way since we first announced our bid last October at Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club, and it’s an incredible feeling to now be able to say, St. Louis is home to the first official majority female-led ownership group in MLS. Our MLS team and stadium will only add to St. Louis’ renaissance currently underway and will provide us with a great opportunity to bring together many different segments of the community, uniting people in their love for the game.”
St. Louis’ club and its new downtown soccer stadium are central elements of a major development project in the Downtown West district. The development also will include mixed-use retail, restaurants and gathering spaces open year-round to the public.