St. Louis was awarded a Major League Soccer franchise on Tuesday, and the team will begin play in 2022.
Commissioner Don Garber made the announcement at a gathering in the city.
“St. Louis, with it’s incredibly rich soccer history, not only deserves a team, but has earned one,” Garber told the crowd. “After two decades of discussions about St. Louis being a part of our league, today the moment has arrived. We’re here to make a landmark announcement for your city.”
The still-unnamed franchise will be owned by the Taylor family, which owns St. Louis-based car rental group Enterprise Holdings, and Jim Kavanaugh, the CEO of World Wide Technology.
With seven members of the Taylor family being women, St. Louis becomes the first female majority-owned club in MLS history.
The team will play in a planned $ 200-million-plus, 22,500-seat soccer stadium in the Downtown West district of St. Louis that the Taylors have said will be “overwhelmingly” privately financed.
“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,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz, president of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation.
St. Louis will become the 28th MLS city.
Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC will join the league next season followed by Austin FC in 2021.
St. Louis has deep ties to soccer. Among the players and coaches inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, 29 of them are from the city. Additionally, five of the members of the 1950 U.S. World Cup team that defeated England were from the city, ESPN reported.
It’s another significant moment in St. Louis sports history to happen in 2019. The NHL Blues won their first-ever Stanley Cup in June.