Home » Popular Culture » Recent Articles:

Readers: Super Bowl Interest Unchanged Because Of Rams Departure

February 10, 2016 Popular Culture 2 Comments

In the non-scientific Sunday Poll nearly two-thirds indicated the Rams departure didn’t change their interest in the Super Bowl

Q: Now that St. Louis doesn’t have an NFL team, your interest in the Super Bowl is…

  • Increased 0 [0%]
  • Unchanged 30 [63.83%]
  • Decreased 17 [36.17%]

However, without a home team, over a third had less interest. My guess is more people in Los Angeles are interested in the Super Bowl now that they again have a team. Net win for NFL.

 

— Steve Patterson

 

More On Soccer Stadiums

Yesterday’s post was my site idea for locating a Major League Soccer (MLS) downtown — Downtown West, to be precise. In trying to figure out if a soccer-specific stadium would fit I looked at other recently built stadiums. Today I thought I’d share some of the research.  I like to start with a big picture historical view — knowing where we’ve been helps to know where we may go.

The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team originated in St. Louis in 1875, as the Brown Stockings. The team started here, has stayed here. The Chicago Cardinals football team moved to St. Louis for the 1960 season — staying through the 1987 season. St. Louis was just a pit stop. In 1967 the St. Louis Blues hockey team was created during the NHL’s first expansion — doubling in size to twelve teams. Founded here, stayed here.

And of course, the always moving Rams:

  • Cleveland 1936-1945
  • Los Angeles 1946-1994
  • St. Louis 1995-2015
  • Los Angeles 2016-

Teams that were founded here, have stayed here. Teams founded elsewhere —  that moved here — moved again.

What about soccer?

The earliest record of organized soccer in St. Louis date to 1881. In 1891, the St. Louis Soccer League was organized, and before long, amateur soccer was flourishing in the city. Unlike other cities where clubs were often associated with immigrant working communities and sponsored by ethnic social clubs, many of the major clubs in St. Louis were associated with churches and parishes, and later with manufacturing & retail companies. The catholic parishes in St. Louis, through the CYC chapters, adopted soccer as an inexpensive mass participation sport for their recreational programs, and it wasn’t long before the top teams were winning national honors. One result of this is the long history in St. Louis of developing home grown talent rather than attracting foreign players to the top level professional leagues. 

The Kensingtons won the first two league championships, followed by Blue Bells and St. Teresa’s. Later, the first dynasty was established by St. Leo’s who won nine consecutive championships between 1905/06 and 1913/14. St. Leo’s was originally composed entirely of members of the St. Leo’s Sodality, a church men’s organization. After the team opened its memberships to outsiders, it began its championship run. They were also the first team to tour the East, as they played a series of New Jersey teams in tours during this time. St. Louis soccer grew very early on, and the leagues have been strong from the beginning, but the city also had a very independent tradition, and even after the local association joined the United States Soccer Federation, it remained somewhat aloof, not fully integrating itself into the national body until 1918.
(History of Soccer in St. Louis — recommenced)

So soccer has a very long history in St. Louis.

To see if a soccer stadium would fit in Downtown West I needed to look at dimensions.

A soccer-specific stadium typically has amenities, dimensions and scale suitable for soccer in North America, including a scoreboard, video screen, luxury suites and possibly a roof. The field dimensions are within the range found optimal by FIFA: 110–120 yards (100–110 m) long by 70–80 yards (64–73 m) wide, These soccer field dimensions are wider than the regulation American football field width of 53 1?3 yards (48.8 m), or the 65-yard (59 m) width of a Canadian football field. The playing surface should also consist of grass as opposed to artificial turf, since the latter makes players more susceptible to injuries.

Lastly, the seating capacity is generally small enough to provide an intimate setting, between 18,000 and 30,000 for a Major League Soccer franchise, or smaller for minor league soccer teams. This is in comparison to the much larger American football stadiums that mostly range between 60,000 – 80,000 in which the original North American Soccer League teams played at and most MLS teams participated in during the league’s inception. (Wikipedia: Soccer-specific stadium)

I also looked at some recent stadiums and how those would overlay in the area bounded by Pine, 20th, Market, and 22nd (new). The distance between Market and Pine is tight, between 20th and 22nd generous — assuming the pitch was oriented East-West. Placing the pitch North-South might be better — would give lots of room to the East & West sides for amenities. Ideally restaurants, team store, etc would face 20th Street. I love the idea of the main stadium entry being located at 20th & Market. A tower at that corner could have a rooftop restaurant open year round with Eastern views of Aloe Plaza/Gateway Mall, Union Station, Civil Courts,  and the Arch.

Approximate view looking East from new tower at 20th & Market/Chestnut
Approximate view looking East from new tower at 20th & Market/Chestnut

There is a preference for urban stadiums:

Going urban also helps activate the building on non-gamedays with everything from company picnics on the pitch to conferences in suites and club spaces that offer more than the mundane four walls of a downtown hotel.

“It is an amazing thing to have (the stadium) in the heart of downtown,” Portland Timbers president of operations Mike Golub, tells SI.com. “The energy, intimacy and passion comes through.” (Sports Illustrated)

Providence Park in Portland OR is an urban neighborhood (aerial). I’m still reviewing Wikipedia’s List of Major League Soccer stadiums. More will open in 2017 & 2018.

As I stated yesterday, I think any new soccer stadium should[n’t] be owned by the public. I think government’s role would be to rework the public streets and highway on/off ramps to free up land for private development.  The city/state were responsible for the existing hole in the urban fabric — they’re responsible to piece it back together. Part of this investment into getting currently wasted land ready for development would be a form-based zoning code to achieve a walkable urban neighborhood once fully built out.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

 

A Great Site For A Major League Soccer (MLS) Stadium In Downtown St. Louis

Last week Major League Soccer (MLS) officials indicated they’re interested in expanding — adding a team in St. Louis:

Major League Soccer will begin searching for a stadium site in St. Louis and planning for its financing and operations immediately, the league’s commissioner told the Post-Dispatch Thursday. (Post-Dispatch)

The site they shouldn’t consider is the North riverfront one previously targeted for a significantly larger NFL stadium — we shouldn’t tear down buildings when we have vacant land available. We have land, mostly state owned, without any buildings and a target for redevelopment for years already. I’m talking about the 22nd Street Interchange area — an area on the West side of downtown I’ve written about numerous times over the 11+ years.

Large area of mostly unused land on the West edge of downtown, the views East are spectacular -- would look great during televised broadcasts
Large area of mostly unused land on the West edge of downtown, the views East are spectacular — would look great during televised broadcasts
Same image without the text & lines
Same image without the text & lines

Why this location?

  1. Brings needed activity/development to Downtown West
  2. Right size for stadium
  3. Paul McKee was going to redevelop the area, but nothing has happened yet
  4. Most of the land is owned by Missouri or St. Louis
  5. Would not involve relocating any residents or businesses
  6. Doesn’t require the demolition of any buildings
  7. Numerous hotels already serve this area
  8. New stadium could anchor West end of the Gateway Mall, events could take place in Aloe Plaza
  9. Market St viaduct/bridge is in poor condition
  10. Great views to the East.
  11. Would give a reason for the #99 Downtown Trolley (Bus) to make a complete circle and serving Downtown West, operating in both directions

What physically needs to happen for this to work?

  1. Gateway Greening’s urban farm project would need to be relocated
  2. Street grid restored, Pine/Chestnut 1-way couplet returned to 2-way traffic
  3. Highway on/off ramps need to be reworked:
    1. Entrance onto I-64 in both directions from 22nd & Clark
    2. EB off ramp connects to grid at 21st & Clark instead of 20th & Chestnut
    3. WB off ramp connects to grid at Clark between 21st-22nd
    4. Roundabouts may help along Clark at on/off ramps

What politically needs to happen for this to work?

  1. Elected officials need to abandon the idea of razing the North Riverfront
  2. City/region/state pays for these new roads/sidewalks, on/off ramps
  3. New ownership group pays for the actual stadium
  4. Form-based code to ensure development creates an urban pedestrian-friendly neighborhood over the next 15-20 years

Below is a rough mock-up:

The blue box near the center is the stadium site, red are new streets/ramps, Purple are development sites, yellow is a revised trolley route. Click image to view map in Google Maps
The blue box near the center is the stadium site, red are new streets/ramps, Purple are development sites, yellow is a revised trolley route. Click image to view map in Google Maps

Here are some additional images to show current conditions:

The EB highway off ramp could end at 21st & Clark
The EB highway off ramp could end at 21st & Clark
Looking North from 21st & Eugenia
Looking North from 21st & Eugenia
The area between 21st & 22nd could be infilled with new development
The area between 21st & 22nd could be infilled with new development
From the existing EB I-64 off ramp
From the existing EB I-64 off ramp
Under the Market St bridge/viaduct. This would be filled in so Market would be at grade
Under the Market St bridge/viaduct. This would be filled in so Market would be at grade
Repair on the Market St bridge/viaduct
Repair on the Market St bridge/viaduct
Exposed rebar on Market
Exposed rebar on Market
Looking down from Market to where the 22nd Parkway was to continue North, and tight ramp leading to 20th at Chestnut.
Looking down from Market to where the 22nd Parkway was to continue North, and tight ramp leading to 20th at Chestnut.
Looking West from 20th & Chestnut
Looking West from 20th & Chestnut
20th & Pine, privately owned parking lot would become part of stadium site
20th & Pine, privately owned parking lot would become part of stadium site
Area North of Pine could see infill development
Area North of Pine could see infill development
Pine could become 2-way again -- another route East from Jefferson
Pine could become 2-way again — another route East from Jefferson
Gateway Greening's Urban Farm
Gateway Greening’s Urban Farm
Gateway Greening's Urban Farm has used some of this excess land, would need to relocate to other vacant land
Gateway Greening’s Urban Farm has used some of this excess land, would need to relocate to other vacant land
West of 20th is Aloe Plaza West Extension -- really just leftover from the off ramp. This should be the prime corner of a new MLS stadium
West of 20th is Aloe Plaza West Extension — really just leftover from the off ramp. This should be the prime corner of a new MLS stadium

I think this location offers the chance to create a new neighborhood and provide the environment/experience desired by the MLS.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Has Your Interest In The Super Bowl Changed Now That St. Louis Does Not Have An NFL Team?

Please vote below
Please vote below

The Super Bowl 50 starts at 5:30pm Central, but television coverage begins at 1pm. Really? The pre-game coverage is longer than the game itself?

Hopefully you’re recovered from yesterday’s Mardi Gras parade. Here’s today’s poll:

The poll is open until 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: What Features/Technology Do You Want In Your Next Vehicle?

January 31, 2016 Featured, Popular Culture, Sunday Poll, Transportation Comments Off on Sunday Poll: What Features/Technology Do You Want In Your Next Vehicle?
Please vote below
Please vote below

Every year new vehicles have more technology than the year before. These new technological features often originate on very expensive cars, eventually finding their way to more affordable models.

The least expensive new 2016 car is the Nissan Versa, starting at $11,990. It includes features that weren’t even optional on affordable cars a decade ago:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bluetooth
  •  ABS brakes
  • Tilt steering column
  • Rear window defroster
  • AM/FM/CD audio
    • MP3/WMA playback
    • 4 speakers
    • Aux audio jack
    • Steering wheel controls
  • Front & side airbags
  • Tire pressure monitoring

The base Versa is one of few cars on the market with manual windows & locks — but most sold won’t be the base model. Still, I remember the 1986 Hyundai Excel which was only $4,995.

I’ve had two new cars in my life, but I don’t anticipate ever buying new again. I was car-free when I met my husband in 2012 — in 2014 we bought a used car that he uses for work.  Late next year our Civic will be 10+ years old and will have about 150,000 miles on it. At that time we’ll buy another used car.

In the last 4-5 years auto industry sales have improved, as have the products. As used car buyers we have a lot of choices. Based on available features, ee’ve already decided what our next car should be.

The poll today seeks to find out what features readers are looking for in their next car — assuming you drive.

The poll is open until 8pm, the list is shown in random order.

Wednesday I’ll discuss the results and reveal the one feature from this list driving the decision for our next car.

— Steve Patterson

 

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

Unable to display Facebook posts.
Show error

Error: (#4) Application request limit reached
Type: OAuthException
Code: 4
Please refer to our Error Message Reference.

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe