St. Louis City SC Is The Official Name Of The Region's First Major League Soccer Team
Updated at 1 p.m. to include more details from the ownership team
Time to add a new team jersey to your St. Louis sports collection — St. Louis City SC.
That’s the official name of St. Louis’ Major League Soccer team. The ownership group, previously known as MLS4TheLou, announced the name, crest and colors during a virtual event on Thursday. The team’s colors are red and navy blue. The crest contains those colors, playing off the city's flag, a graphic of the Gateway Arch and lines symbolizing the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
The St. Louis City SC name was selected from a pool of thousands submitted by fans to the ownership group. It beat out suggestions like Lazer Snakes, Kicky McKickertons Football Club and the St. Louis T-Ravs.
The ownership group originally planned to release the team details at a large, in-person event in March but switched to a virtual event at Harris-Stowe State University showing cardboard cutouts of fans due to the pandemic.
Carolyn Kindle Betz, CEO of the soccer club, and Lee Broughton, chief brand architect, shared their thoughts on the new branding in an interview streamlined online with sports broadcaster Dan McLaughlin.
Kindle Betz said that in filtering through more than 6,000 name submissions, they noticed that the word “city” was the No. 1 theme.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to expand the definition of city to include the north, south, the east and the west — everybody in the region,” she said. “But it also allows us to make sure we remember and highlight the diverse cultures and iconic neighborhoods but also to really embrace the proud heritage that St. Louis has.”
Broughton said the “SC” in the name serves as a double entendre for the club.
“We believe we are in America’s first soccer capital,” he said. “City is often a term that designates to the club that is founded in that tribe or in that village, and so we were trying to do a few things, crossing a few aspects but really being able to have total honorability, which is why we see the landmarks play such an important role.”
Broughton said he hopes to build an international brand with “swagger” that reflects a core fan base of 18- to 34-year-olds.
“This club really believes this city can dream bigger than its history, and that’s a huge part of what we want to begin with,” he said. “Listen, we haven’t moved from another place, we’re not trying to reshape perceptions that are coming from a new geography. This literally is starting now, so we get an opportunity to build a perception of a super brand in the world of sport, and we believe we’re a world city.”
Kindle Betz said merchandise — including scarfs, T-shirts and koozies — will be available soon on the team’s new website. This afternoon, she said the team will send eight Audi cars decked out in the new branding to drop off swag bags around the city. She did not name locations.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber shared his congratulations for the team in a video shown during the event.
“The colors and the team crest are absolutely terrific,” he said. “It really represents the team, the city, the stadium and everything this club is going to mean for the continued revitalization of such an important city in our country.”
The team is to begin play in March 2023, after Garber delayed the start date for several new teams due to the coronavirus. CEO Carolyn Kindle Betz has said that extra year gives her more time to finalize corporate sponsorships, engage with fans and build up the roster.
The local MLS team currently employs fewer than 10 people, but Kindle Betz has said the franchise hopes to hire an athletic director and coach in the coming months.
Construction of the 22,500-seat stadium in the Downtown West neighborhood is on track and expected to be completed by mid-2022.
“That gives us about six to nine months to host different events in the stadium,” she said. “So it gives us an opportunity to break in the stadium, if you will. So when that first match is ready to go, hopefully it’s a very seamless, exciting process.”
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