ST. LOUIS — Thousands of people filled downtown St. Louis on Saturday—all for the love of sports.
Jeff Mack was one of the many tailgating ahead of the Battlehawks game.
"This place is just getting back alive again. We were down on ourselves for a while with the Rams leaving and all that. Now it’s like we’re back, we're back," he said.
Some Battlehawks fans, like James Hohmeier II, showed up as early as 7 a.m. for the 6 p.m. kick off against the DC Defenders.
"Football belongs in St. Louis. I hope everyone out here can prove that. I mean I love it. The Battlehawks being back is great, we’ve been waiting for it. We were here last weekend; we’ll be here every weekend. St. Louis is a football and a sports town," he said.
Many, including Mack, came back for round two after the team's home opener last week against the Arlington Renegades brought home a win and broke some records.
"I was at the Rams game when they played the Vikings, and it was almost just as loud as that in that first playoff game. It was amazing, man. I’ve been to Kansas City, went to a Chiefs game, it was just as loud as it was in Arrowhead. It was awesome," he said.
Danny Frye has been waiting for a soccer team in his hometown for quite some time.
"I’ve been a massive soccer fan for the last 10–15 years. Been looking forward to it ever since the thought of MLS being in the city was even conceived. It’s incredible," he said.
Frye, like many others, said both the Battlehawks and St. Louis City SC are bringing an electric energy to downtown St. Louis.
"This city is buzzing. You can feel the atmosphere buzz throughout the whole city. It's incredible. Can't beat it, St. Louis sports, second to none," he said.
City SC fans, including Sue Hornburg, packed the Pitch Athletic Club and Tavern ahead of the team's match against San Jose.
"Good food, good people and it’s our town, our team. You just can’t explain it. Everybody gets rowdy, they go crazy. They chant," she said.
Craziness that Ryan Derr said is only going to continue as this sports town gets ready for more.
"There is a lot, especially this time of year, especially with Opening Day coming up. It’s like everything built into one month, so this entire march has been exciting," he said.
Whether it's a win or a loss, fan Andrew Whipple said, St. Louis is always going to back their teams.
"We love sports, we love people. It's a good time wherever you go. It’s unreal how much we love everything, no matter if it just comes here a year," he said.