DOME OF CHAMPIONS: Super Bowl winner Kurt Warner starred at the Dome at America’s Center when he was quarterback of the St. Louis Rams. Championship football returns to the dome on June 16 for the inaugural UFL Championship Game. (Getty Images)

June 16 finale makes for compressed preparation schedule

Stadiums typically have three to six years to prepare for an NFL championship game. The Dome at America’s Center, home of the St. Louis Battlehawks, will do it in three months as they prepare for the inaugural UFL Championship Game on June 16.

“It’s definitely a win for St. Louis. It’s a win for the UFL and it’s a reward to the fans of St. louis and the Battlehawks to give them this championship game this year,” said Matthew Dewey, senior vice president and general manager of America’s Center. “It’s a win all around for everybody and we are excited to host it.”

A big crowd is expected should the Battlehawks advance to the championship. The first 2024 home game of the St. Louis Battlehawks set a record with 40,317 fans. ‘

The team led the XFL with an attendance of 175,121 for their five home games in 2023, which included a record-setting 38,310 for their home opener.

“It was definitely up and that’s what the goal is,” Dewey said of the strong attendance. “Getting stronger and better every week.”

With a seating capacity of 67,000, The Dome at America’s Center has hosted numerous conventions, trade shows, and major concert and sporting events such as the NCAA Men’s Final Four, Beyonce’s “Renaissance” Tour and U2.

City selection for major events is typically a lengthy process. For example, NFL owners meet and vote to determine the host city that meets the necessary requirements for presenting a championship game. Venues on the Super Bowl calendar include Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2025; Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California, in 2026; and SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California, in 2027.

A lot is at stake for the chosen city. In 2023, the economic impact of the Super Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona was $1.3 billion. No one is expecting that in St. Louis, but television coverage and a growing fan base is expected to have an impact on local businesses including hotels and restaurants.