Major League Soccer expansion franchise St. Louis City SC has announced that Centene Stadium will stage its first match on September 18 when its reserve team takes on Sporting KC II.
Only the lower bowl of the stadium will be opened, with the match set to give season ticket holders an early preview of the 22,500-seat venue.
St. Louis City2 is currently top of the MLS Next Pro league in its first year of existence.
The September 18 match will be a closed event for season ticket holders, with the operations and fan experience teams currently putting the finishing touches on the stadium as part of the ‘soft’ opening. The main concourse and in-stadium team store will be open with limited food and beverage concessions.
Carolyn Kindle, president and chief executive of St. Louis City SC, said: “A City2 vs. Sporting KC II game will be a great introduction to our stadium in what will be a long list of events before next year. This match will give our City2 players the opportunity to play in our world-class stadium and our current season ticket members a first look inside the stadium as we build toward our historic 2023 inaugural season.”
St. Louis City will debut in MLS next year at its newly-built stadium.
Healthcare company Centene acquired naming rights to the stadium in February as part of a 15-year agreement. Centene, which is headquartered in St. Louis, also became a founding partner and the official managed healthcare provider of the franchise.
The soccer-specific Centene Stadium has been designed to integrate into the surrounding urban environment. It will feature a large public plaza for community events, an open architectural design and amenities to connect people together in “healthy ways” such as public art installations, pet-friendly spaces, bike and pedestrian pathways, green space and pop-up shops and restaurants.
Image: St. Louis City SC