ST. LOUIS — St. Louis City SC took the field at home for the very first time on Saturday and defeated Charlotte FC, 3 -1 in front of a sold-out crowd.
The energy before, during and after the team’s home opener set the stage for what is predicted to be a well-attended season and soccer experience.
Mike Hayes and his family caught a taste of it outside CIityPark's plaza first before catching the match inside.
The CITY Block Party brought in live music, food and loads of vendors up until the match started.
“I'm excited that again growing up in St. Louis coming downtown and experiencing wonderful things and we get to that again with these guys and they get to experience having that same civic pride,” Hayes said.
The season ticket holders were also impressed by the camaraderie spurred by the long-awaited soccer club.
“With the first class job of this stadium and the energy in the way that it's including all aspects of the city. Different groups,” Hayes continued.
Those groups include the youth.
Allisa Simiral's son William Trotter was lucky to become a part of the CITY Futures Program which had a long waiting list.
The seasonal programs are open to children in the area who are curious about the game and want to improve their skills on and off the pitch.
"It's really important or me to keep them involved in sports. And once I learned that they loved soccer, you know,” Simiral said.
It was not an official home opener without the Budweiser Clydesdales. The legendary horses pranced around the stadium to give their blessing with a ceremonial beer drop.
"We are very excited to be here. It's a great partnership with St. Louis CITY. We're showing our support. We're out here. It is the 90th year-anniversary of the Budweiser Clydesdale so it's a very important year for us,” said Lauren Lambeth, a handler.
Thousands left the game and spent time in other places throughout the downtown area. Many businesses held watch parties to support the inaugural home opener.
St. Louis CITY SC will play their next home match against the San Jose Earthquakes at CityPark on March 18.
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