St. Louis Soccer Park

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St. Louis Soccer Park
Anheuser Busch Center hosting an WPS Match
Former names Anheuser-Busch Center
Location 1 Soccer Park Road
Fenton, Missouri
Owner St. Louis Scott Gallagher
Capacity 6,200
Surface Turf (x4) & Grass (x2)
Opened 1982
Tenants
Saint Louis Athletica (WPS) (2009-2010)
AC St. Louis (D2 Pro League) (2010)
St. Louis Scott Gallagher (2011-present)
Webster University Gorlocks (2012-present)
St. Louis FC (USL Pro) (2015-present)

The St. Louis Soccer Park, formerly known as the Anheuser-Busch Center, is a soccer complex which includes four soccer-specific stadiums, with the main field holding 6,200 seats. It is located in Fenton, Missouri, a suburb southwest of downtown St. Louis. It is currently operated by the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club whose 275 teams and 3,600 players use it for both practice and games. It is also the home field for Webster University's Men and Women's Soccer Teams. The complex has five playing fields (three turf and two grass) and one main exhibition field (turf). One grass field and all four turf fields are lighted. The fields are primarily used for soccer but also host field hockey and lacrosse teams. In addition to the playing surfaces, the complex features coaches offices, home and away locker rooms, a Scott Gallagher Team Pro Shop, a banquet hall, a verdana overlooking the main field, two concession stands, a press box and a private office (originally designed for August Busch IV).

History[edit]

Opening & Anheuser-Busch[edit]

The St. Louis Soccer Park opened in 1982 with funding from Anheuser-Busch who outright purchased it in 1985 and renamed it the 'Anheuser-Busch Center. During the Anheuser-Busch ownership, the main exhibition field, capable of seating 6,200 spectators, hosted international, collegiate and youth soccer competitions.

August Busch IV, the former CEO of Anheuser-Busch, who disliked going to Anheuser-Busch's downtown headquarters renovated a portion of the Soccer Park offices complete with his own luxurious and secluded office that includes a private bathroom (formerly soccer club coaches offices with a shower) and conference room. During Anheuser-Busch's takeover by Belgium beer maker In-Bev, the board and executives of Anheuser-Busch met in August's conference room at the Soccer Park. At one point during the takeover proceedings, August said "My war room is the Soccer Park" describing the frantic effort of the executives to save Anheuser-Busch from being sold.[1]

St. Louis Soccer United[edit]

In March 2009, Anheuser-Busch wrote a letter of intent to transfer ownership of Soccer Park to Jeff Cooper and his organization St. Louis Soccer United (SLSU) in order to strengthen SLSU's bid for an MLS expansion team. While the MLS bid failed, SLSU announced in May that Saint Louis Athletica, the WPS team also run by SLSU, would play the rest of their home games at Soccer Park, having previously played at Ralph Korte Stadium on the campus of SIUE.[2] In the summer of 2011, Jeff Cooper and SLSU sold the soccer park to St. Louis Scott Gallagher, a local soccer club.[3][4] Jeff Cooper originally received a bid for the Soccer Park from a non-soccer organization but this news spread to World Wide Technology executives Jim Kavanaugh and Tom Strunk who, in an effort to keep soccer strong in St. Louis, personally financed the deal - to the tune of $1.9M - on behalf of St. Louis Scott Gallagher.[5]

Current Ownership[edit]

In March 2012, St. Louis Scott Gallagher broke ground on a $1.5M renovation of the Soccer Park after it signed a partnership with Webster University and received sponsorships from Nike, Windows Mobile and Wells Fargo in addition to a considerable donation from World Wide Technology, who had a number of executives play soccer at SLU.[6][7][8] The renovations included replacing the main exhibition field and another grass field with turf, replanting the two remaining grass fields with bermuda grass, replacing the out dated scoreboard with a state-of-the-art video board and sound system, and converting one of the coaches' conference rooms into a first-class Team Pro Shop.

International Games[edit]

Date Competition Team Res Team
30 May 1987 1988 Summer Olympics qualification  United States 3-0  Canada
13 August 1988 1990 FIFA World Cup Qualification  United States 5-1  Jamaica
30 April 1989 1990 FIFA World Cup Qualification  United States 1-0  Costa Rica
5 November 1989 1990 FIFA World Cup Qualification  United States 0-0  El Salvador
4 April 1990 Friendly  United States 4-0  Iceland
30 September 1990 Friendly  United States 2-0 MISL Select XI

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Julie MacIntosh (20 September 2011). Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, an American Icon. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 13–. ISBN 978-1-118-20282-1. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Saint Louis Athletica Announce Move to AB Soccer Park". WPS. 2009-05-22. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  3. ^ "St. Louis Scott Gallagher buys Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park". St Louis Business Journal. 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  4. ^ "St. Louis Scott Gallagher acquires A-B Soccer Park". St Louis Post Dispatch. 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  5. ^ "Renovated Soccer Park helps STL Scott Gallagher control its own destiny". Soccer Made in St Louis. 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  6. ^ "St. Louis Scott Gallagher Breaks Ground at St Louis Soccer Park". Soccer STL. 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  7. ^ "Soccer Park gets million dollar makeover". St Louis Post Dispatch. 2012-08-21. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  8. ^ "Webster, local soccer club team up to renovate St. Louis Soccer Park". The Journal (The Official Student Newspaper of Webster University). 2012-08-14. Retrieved 2013-04-20. 

External Links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°32′48″N 90°26′19″W / 38.54667°N 90.43861°W / 38.54667; -90.43861