New bid launches to bring MLS expansion team to St. Louis

St. Louis skyline

St. Louis has reemerged as a city seeking an MLS team.

A group comprised of the founding family of car rental giant Enterprise announced its bid for an MLS expansion club, #MLS4THELOU, on Tuesday at a press conference. The family members involved would make the proposed ownership group primarily female, which would be a first for the league.

“We’ve had such a great tradition of soccer here with our youth clubs,” Carolyn Kindle Betz, granddaughter of Enterprise founder Jack Taylor and senior vice president at the company, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Jim Kavanaugh, a former pro soccer player who was part of last year’s unsuccessful bid, will join this group in another effort to bring an MLS team to St. Louis. Kavanaugh is also part-owner of the USL club St. Louis FC, which would become a developmental side should an MLS team come to the city.

Like the previous bid, this one is focused on a downtown stadium site west of Union Station and along Market Street. With no commitment of citywide resources sought, a public vote would not be necessary. Legislation would need to be passed to approve the deal.

Enterprise is known for its participation in sports ventures. The company shares an ownership stake in the St. Louis Blues, and recently gained naming rights for the NHL team’s arena.

MLS announced in December 2016 that it would be expanding to 28 teams. Nashville and Cincinnati were awarded the first two spots, beating out finalists Sacramento and Detroit among the 12 cities to submit bids.