St. Louis CITY SC will continue to fuel the growth and revitalization of St. Louis by becoming one of the few U.S.-based teams in all professional sports, and the only Major League Soccer (MLS) club, to have its team headquarters, practice facility, training fields and stadium all in one centralized downtown location.
In addition to three practice fields and an elite training and performance center for CITY’s academy and MLS first team, the updated plans for south of Market Street include a team store, fan pavilion and club headquarters.
“Our updated stadium district plan not only gives us a distinctive home-field advantage by creating a central hub for CITY, but it also expands our presence and will continue to act as a catalyst for more development in Downtown West,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz, St. Louis CITY SC Chief Executive Officer.
Updated plans include:
A two-story, public-facing pavilion with both indoor and outdoor gathering spaces including the team store, a café and a second story for events and conferences, open to fans 365 days a year.
The club’s world-class athletic training and performance center with three training fields and a keeper-specific training area all connected in a seamless layout just a short walk from the stadium. One field south of Clark Street will be field turf, and the two fields north of Clark Street will be natural grass.
The team will renovate the Union Square Plaza building at 326 S. 21st Street for the team headquarters. The building’s beautiful brick façade exterior and proximity to the new soccer stadium and training complex makes it the perfect addition to the stadium district.
St. Louis-based architecture firm HOK and Julie Snow, co-founder of Snow Kreilich Architects, worked closely with CITY sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel to incorporate features and amenities specifically designed to drive peak athletic training and performance.
“A key piece in building this team from the ground up is creating an accessible and state-of-the-art training facility for our players,” said Pfannenstiel. “We were very intentional about hosting our first team and academy teams in the same training facility to provide our young academy players a glimpse at what they’re training for. This will fuel their motivation and ambition as we work toward building the best academy and development system in North America to continuously funnel high-level talent into our first team.”
The design team found inspiration from training centers in the Bundesliga and Premier League, including Hamburg and Manchester City – ensuring CITY utilizes best practices from some of the world’s top soccer clubs.
The first team locker room sits as the central hub to the training facility, giving players quick access to training fields, the weight and cardio room plus other health and wellness amenities. The unparalleled workout space will feature the latest training equipment, plus a wall of garage doors that open to quickly transform the space into an outdoor experience. Just off the team locker room players will have access to a high-level recovery center, including hot and cold tubs for hydrotherapy.
Additionally, nutrition will be a core component of the performance center, as the club will offer premium dining options to maximize player and staff health and wellness. The dining area will be open to both first team and academy members, giving up-and-coming players the opportunity to see how the pros eat for peak athletic performance.
Other offerings include a deluxe film room that will enable staff and players to review footage and prepare for upcoming matches, as well as lounge spaces that will give players and staff places to gather, relax and connect.
Since breaking ground in February 2020, the construction team has completed more than 230,336 trade hours of work through January 26 of this year. Approximately $309 million in contracts have been awarded to date, with $84 million (27%) committed to minority-owned business enterprises and $33 million (11%) committed to women-owned business enterprises.
“The stadium district will be a vibrant, multi-purpose destination for soccer across the region,” said Emily Louchart, principal and senior interior project designer at HOK. “While the stadium is at the heart of the district, we carved out an extraordinary space for the MLS club and the academy to train that will generate energy and enthusiasm in the community. Weaving this training center right into Downtown West is what really sets the CITY campus apart from nearly every other facility in professional sports.”
The expanded team campus located south of Market Street reinforces CITY’s commitment to creating a vibrant activity hub critical to helping bookend the Gateway Mall. The updated plan points to how the team is emphasizing centralized gathering spaces, such as the fan pavilion, where anyone in the region can gather on game day and every day between.
The training center, team pavilion and team headquarters are scheduled to be finished around the same time as the stadium in 2022.