ST. LOUIS — It’s only a week into 2022 and Major League expansion franchise St. Louis City SC has already notched a milestone. It won’t be the last time it does so this year.
As it prepares for 2023, City SC is expected to mark several significant achievements this year, both in terms of its on-field and front office operations. Here’s a rundown of five significant milestones to keep an eye out on in the year ahead.
Opening its front door
Nearly two years into construction, City SC’s Downtown West stadium is nearly completed. Construction of the 22,500-seat stadium is expected to wrap up this July. In addition to the stadium, the $461 million project also includes City SC’s training facility.
While City SC’s first team won’t take to its new pitch for a match until 2023, fans could get their first glimpse of the new stadium this year. City SC Chief Experience Officer Matt Sebek told the Business Journal during a recent tour of the stadium that the expansion franchise is still determining its plan for how it will use the facility during that gap, but noted the stadium’s premium and event spaces would be ideal spaces to host watch parties for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will take place in November and December 2022.
A stadium name and jersey design?
In addition to being fully completed, it is likely City SC’s new stadium could get a name this year. City SC has not provided a timeline for when it plans to unveil its stadium naming rights partners, but previous MLS expansion teams — such as FC Cincinnati and Austin FC — announced such sponsorship deals shortly before opening their stadiums to the public.
Stadium naming rights will be among the most lucrative sponsorship deals City SC inks with a corporation. Stadium naming rights deals for MLS venues can range from $2 million a year to nearly $7 million a year, according to data from Sports Business Journal.
In 2021, City SC announced Nestlé Purina PetCare will be the team’s official kit sponsor and have its logo featured on the club’s jerseys. Jersey sponsorships can range between $3 million and $5 million per year, according to Sports Business Journal data. Fans could have their first chance to see City SC's jersey design this year. Austin FC, MLS' most recent expansion team to begin play in the league, unveiled its kit in November 2020 ahead of its 2021 launch.
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