Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise St. Louis City SC has announced that its new home will no longer be called Centene Stadium, adding it is now seeking out a new naming rights partner.
Due to fully open in time for the franchise’s 2023 season debut, City SC in February unveiled healthcare company Centene as the naming-rights sponsor of its 22,500-seat stadium.
The 15-year agreement officially named the venue as Centene Stadium. The St. Louis-headquartered company also became a founding partner and the official managed healthcare provider of City SC. However, the club announced yesterday (Tuesday) that the stadium, which is nearing competition, will be going by a new name moving forward – CityPark.
“After discussions with Centene, we have agreed to reshape the current partnership with them and the focus moving forward will be on developing community health and wellness programming throughout the region,” said Carolyn Kindle, St. Louis City SC’s president and CEO.
“My family and I are committed to investing in the growth of the city we love and believe City SC’s new state-of-the-art soccer stadium plays an important role in continuing to build the positive momentum happening throughout the St. Louis region.”
CityPark, and its surrounding stadium district, is the largest urban professional sports campus in the U.S. and the only one with a stadium, team headquarters, and practice facility all within the same footprint.
Drawn up by St. Louis-based HOK, CityPark features an “open and welcoming architectural design” and includes a variety of amenities intended for us not just by soccer fans, including public art installations, pet-friendly spaces, bike and pedestrian pathways, greenspace and pop-up shops and restaurants.
Dennis Moore, City SC’s chief revenue officer, maintained that interest in partnering with the club has never been stronger. He said: “We continue to be impressed with the overwhelming support from both our fans and the business community.
“In addition to the incredible sponsors we have already announced, we continue to have conversations with a number of organisations who share our vision to further St. Louis’ growth. We now look forward to being able to include stadium naming rights in those conversations.”
While Centene will no longer be City SC’s stadium naming rights sponsor, the two organisations will work together on community health and wellness initiatives promoting youth soccer and fitness. Initial programming includes collaborating on two initiatives: City SC’s City Futures Program, which brings soccer to a diverse group of youth across the Bi-State area; and a new effort to promote teamwork, fitness and competition between high school-age athletes in the local community.
Kindle added: “We’ve always been about more than soccer and I’m so proud of how far we’ve come over the last two years. Our vision of building something to showcase what a world-class city like St. Louis has to offer is about to be unveiled to the world. I truly believe CityPark is something everyone in St. Louis will want to be a part of once we open our doors.”