Centene Stadium in St. Louis, the city's new soccer stadium, is still not fully operating after a broken pipe and rainstorm postponed the inaugural game two months ago.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a spokesman for St. Louis City SC — the new Major League Soccer franchise — told the newspaper that the team is close to resolving its issues and could announce more in “the near future.”
St. Louis soccer stadium still not at full power after flood. Fix will cost millions. https://t.co/M26SYXahKP— St. Louis Post-Dispatch (@stltoday) October 21, 2022
The $461 million stadium, which span a city block on Market Street near Union Station, said the team is spending millions of dollars to fix the issue, sources told the Post-Dispatch. The team brought in transformers to provide power until permanent equipment, which is on back order, arrives. A test run is scheduled for Friday and could determine whether the stadium could host an exhibition game next month.
“We are in the process of re-energizing the portion of the stadium that was adversely impacted,” said spokesman John Gasparoni. “Our fans can be confident the team is doing everything possible to get full electricity back at the stadium as soon as possible, and we believe we are close to a resolution.”
A fully operational Centene Stadium, which was almost entirely privately financed, is crucial not only for the team but for the stadium to anchor the redevelopment of a downtown area that has languished for years. The 22,500-seat venue has canopies designed to magnify noise and a pitch designed to get fans as close as possible to the action.
The trouble began on Sept. 2, when a city contractor installing a street lighting conduit on the west side of 22nd Street damaged two conduits that included a private electrical run between the stadium and a VIP parking lot. The city contractor offered to repair the damaged conduit before close of business that Friday. But stadium contractors denied the offer and said their electrical contractor would handle it instead. Then on Saturday, it rained. The ditch with the damaged conduit filled with water, according to city records. The broken conduits piped rainwater straight into the stadium’s communications and electrical room.
Visitors to the stadium have noticed a semi-truck-sized backup generator running. Officials have said they could host a game, though it would not be ideal.
City SC has about 12,000 season-ticket holders, at least some of whom have been waiting for more than two years to see a game.
The MLS season starts in February.