St. Louis stadium leaders to host MLS officials

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Although it's American football that will ultimately decide whether the St. Louis stadium proposal comes to fruition, the task force in charge of seeing the project through is covering all of its bases.

So it is that local leaders, including task force head Dave Peacock, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay will host key Major League Soccer officials in St. Louis on Tuesday. The MLS contingent includes Commissioner Don Garber and some of his top lieutenants.

The St. Louis stadium proposal is focused on keeping the Rams in St. Louis or at least ensuring that the city remains home to an NFL team. But beyond that, the group also has included plans for an MLS team to help occupy the stadium past the 10 dates for the NFL each season. Those plans have been rendered into the proposal since it was first publicly revealed in January.

According to a release from the stadium task force, the MLS leaders will "meet with area business leaders, public officials and key representatives from the local soccer community to learn more about the city’s potential as a home for an MLS expansion club."

The MLS visit even includes a fan-centric part of the day with a rally at 4 p.m. CT at Ballpark Village for area soccer fans to demonstrate their passion for soccer to the commissioner and his crew.

While the MLS portion of the deal is likely dependent on the NFL committing to the city first, having the support of soccer could be beneficial to the big picture plan for the city. Most notably, it would make such a stadium more palatable for the public with the knowledge that it would be used on a regular basis beyond the confines of football.