St. Louis sports consumers and fans know they will be getting a professional football team in town in 2020 when Vince McMahon’s XFL finally gets onto the field. McMahon will be paying more in rent to use the city’s domed football facility than the various St. Louis Rams ownerships did when the team played in the stadium between 1995 and 2016. McMahon is renting the stadium for $100,000 a game and at this point, it appears there will be a 10 game winter to spring schedule meaning five home games. St. Louis sports customers and fans don’t know if the city will be getting a Major League Soccer team in the near future. Initially St. Louis was shut out of the MLS’s plan in 2017 to add four teams because voters said no to putting up municipal funding for a St. Louis soccer venue. The MLS wanted four ownership groups who could rally the politicians and corporate powers in different cities and have the right stuff to get an expansion franchise. The plan did not go well. A number of cities including St. Louis could not get a public funding plan for a stadium and the league scrambled to find willing politicians to help willing owners.
Eventually the MLS did get two cities, Nashville and Cincinnati. But a third expansion team emerged by accident. The owner of the Columbus Crew franchise, Anthony Precourt, decided Austin, Texas offered a much better business opportunity for his franchise and decided to leave the Ohio capital for the Texas capital. Eventually, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam bought Precourt’s Columbus team. That allowed Precourt to take a deal he landed in Austin that included a new stadium. Haslam apparently will get what Precourt could not, a new Columbus stadium. St. Louis, Detroit and Phoenix investors want that fourth expansion slot.