Two MLS cities were in the race to become the 16th MLS franchise. St. Louis and Philadelphia. Philly had a great ownership group but the state of Pennsylvania had yet give the needed state money for the stadium. St Louis has had a stadium lined up in Collinsville, IL for a while but MLS wanted a stronger(deeper pockets) ownership group.
Well, a story yesterday at Philly.com indicated that MLS will announce on, Feb 28th, Philadelphia as the 16th MLS franchise. The stadium plan in the city of Chester was boosted by $47 million in state funding recently. Philadelphia will most likely enter MLS in 2010 when their stadium is expected to be completed.
What does all this mean for KC? Well, unfortunately, we will now have to wait longer for a team to hate as passionately as DC United 🙂 A KC-STL rivalry has existed between the two cities for quite some time. The most prominent one is Royals-Cardinals. But there is also the NFL rivalry between Rams-Chiefs. Some will say KC is jealous of St. Louis, but then St. Louis has been seen as jealous of Chicago … and to continue … Chicago of New York. Both KC and St. Louis have served as a “gateway to the west” – they just disagree on where “the west” starts.
St. Louis would give KC a much needed geographical rival. The two cities are just under 4 hours away and both are on I-70. It would be an easy one day roadtrip. And the games would have a venomous atmosphere(see Cardinals-Royals).
But will probably be 2011 before St. Louis will get their team. Unless of course MLS decides to bring both teams to the league in 2010. But if that, then there’d be 17 MLS teams, although ’07 had 13 teams and ’09 will have 15 teams. No matter what, with this impending Philly announcement, St. Louis jumps to the top of the list for team #17.