ST. LOUIS — After some delays, it's almost game time.
St. Louis CITY SC will preview its CityPark stadium this week, hosting one of Europe's top clubs.
CITY2 will play Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Even though Wednesday is a preview match ahead of its inaugural 2023 season, it will give a glimpse of what's to come.
For this week's game, fans should expect some construction on the roadways outside of the stadium in Downtown West. This could cause some traffic build-up.
However, everything will be up and running inside the 22,500-seat stadium.
It comes after some electrical issues the facility faced.
There had been power problems happening since September.
"You can be really relieved and excited that this is going to roll," said Lee Broughton, the Chief Brand Architect at St. Louis CITY SC.
It has been almost two years since the first steel beam was put in place in December 2020.
Now, the stadium is ready and the structure itself is a show-stopper.
"There is no backdoor to the stadium. We have four corners that are completely open for access. So say articulated trucks come through the food, they go underground under Market Street. Ingress and egress should be easy for a fan standpoint and operations won't be clogged up," Broughton said.
At night, the stadium can also show off some cool lighting.
On the ceilings, it has 18 LED screens to create different kinds of imagery.
Once inside, every seat will be within 120 feet of the pitch with the closest seats just 15 feet from the touchline.
That's because the depth of the stadium bowl is below street level.
'Supporter Sections' will be located on the lower level behind the North Goal.
These sections will be general admission and will not have assigned seats.
"One of the coolest things is the supporter section in the north end called the Rake," Broughton said. "It's very very steep, which means the sound is projected really considerably."
The other side of the spectrum is the highest-paid and most intimate experience: the Pitch Club.
Players will run through here and fans can see them as they head out to the pitch.
As for other seats, Broughton said there is no bad seat in the house.
"There's nothing quite like this," he said.
However, everyone will interact with the next-generation venue.
"We are cashless, we are ticketless," St. Louis CITY SC's Chief Experience Officer Matt Sebek said. "Being a post-pandemic club, we took advantage of the growing research and evolving technology. It’s a next-generation venue."
This is to speed up the process.
The walk-out markets are a good example of this.
There are three throughout the stadium.
"Walk-out markets are where you walk in and with the use of cameras and sensors you walk out," Sebek said. "There is no point of a sale line."
Sebek said on average, it takes a customer about seven minutes at a stand.
This could get people in and out in 30 seconds.
"We are the first stadium to open this design," he said.
Now, if you can't get inside, there's still green space outside where fans can watch the match on screens and gain access to local food vendors.
On Monday, St. Louis City SC announced more St. Louis restaurants on the list.
CityPark’s food and beverage will have 52 individual areas for fans, which is the most in Major League Soccer.
There will be family options and kid menus.
Sebek said fans can mobile order ahead, too.
On Wednesday, the soccer club will release its inaugural jersey.
The team broke Major League Soccer records for the number of fans who signed up for the jersey presale.
But this isn't the first time.
Back in September 2020, St. Louis City SC season ticket deposits went on sale and fans from around the region reserved 30,000 seats within the first 15 minutes and then 50,000 in the first 24 hours.
This shattered the previous best turnout for season ticket deposits in the history of MLS.
“We’ve been amazed by St. Louis," Broughton said.
Broughton encouraged fans to download the app and be mobile-ready for the matches.