2023 VenuesNow All-Star Stadium
CityPark, St. Louis, Mo.
In the most high-profile, big-league venue opening of 2023, soccer took center stage in St. Louis with the addition of CityPark, home to Major League Soccer’s St. Louis City SC. The $458 million project, designed by HOK, had its first home match on March 4.
Project officials have positioned CityPark as the next generation of MLS venues, but one that fits within the context of downtown St. Louis and historical architecture such as Union Station and the Stifel Theatre, plus the city’s signature Gateway Arch.
The market has long been a hotbed of soccer, but it still took 20-plus years for the community to get an MLS team since the league’s first year of play in 1996.
The Taylor family, owner of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which is based in St. Louis, acquired an expansion team and privately financed a 22,500-seat facility that in many ways solidifies the downtown sports and entertainment corridor and serves as a catalyst for additional development in the city’s inner core.
The stadium stands alone in MLS as the first venue to integrate the stadium and practice facility into one complex. More than 3,000 premium seats are distributed among the 28 suites and 32 pitch boxes, all of which were sold by the end of 2021, tied to multiyear leases. All told, the team saw unprecedented demand for season tickets, generating more than 60,000 deposits. The pandemic shutdown allowed the team and Elevate Sports Ventures, their sales agency, to take a methodical approach for the six premium products without rushing through the process, officials said.
Along the way, they resisted the urge to expand stadium capacity, although the design provides the flexibility to add another 2,500 seats in future years if necessary.
“We did a lot of work to determine the right number of seats,” said Lee Broughton, St. Louis City’s chief brand architect. “We did not want to build a stadium that was not going to be intimate, loud and neighborly. We want great demand.”