ST. LOUIS — The ownership group of St. Louis' newest professional sports team has committed to creating opportunities for women-owned and minority-owned businesses in the process of building the new stadium near downtown St. Louis.
The ownership group said it has awarded 21 of the 55 contracts for the Major League Soccer stadium project to women-owned or minority-owned businesses, seven to women-owned businesses and 14 to minority-owned businesses. The contracts are worth a combined $52.5 million.
St. Louis-based construction management firm Kwame Building Group is leading the project planning for the ownership group. The Kwame Building Group's CEO, Tony Thompson, said their company's diverse leadership has made continuing that diversity to the contract phase a part of the decision-making process.
"The ownership group’s vision from the beginning has been to be an exceptional club and neighbor on and off the field," Thompson said. "We all share a commitment to community engagement for this monumental project, with strong opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses, as evidenced by their commitment to having us lead the effort as the owner's representative."
The city set an overall goal of 24% of the project's contract dollars going to minority-owned businesses.
To meet those goals, all bid events and opportunities are distributed to all St. Louis City Certified Women Business Enterprises/Minority Business Enterprises. They held bid opportunity events on Feb. 26 and June 17 with more planned.
"In addition to creating opportunities for minority-owned contractors, the joint venture and the ownership group are committed to maximizing additional workforce opportunities," the ownership group said in a news release. "Over the course of the stadium construction project, approximately 500 local construction jobs will be created."
The first event at the facility is planned for March 2022.