Go City!!

Junior Isabella Tober describes experience of being at City’s first home game.


Isabella Tober

The view of CityPark from Isabella Tober’s seats.

On March 4, 2023 history was made, and I was there to witness it 

St. Louis fans welcomed their very first Major League Soccer team, and with that came an abundance of expectations and dreams. For instance, three years ago, 50,000 people paid $50 in hopes of having their names drawn to be one of 22,500 people who would attend St. Louis SC’s first match, and fortunately myself, along with my family were one of those few people. 

We parked about 2 blocks away and the around the corner from the stadium. And once we turned that corner to our surprise there was a sea of “power pink” from all the people celebrating what would be a night like no other. 

As my family and I arrived at CityPark we were welcomed by the site of the beautiful Budweiser Clydesdales, along with music and laughter coming from every direction. We continued to walk around when to our surprise there was a parking lot full of local food and merchandise vendors. But even hours before the game started the expectations were met and the anticipation/excitement was a feeling that continues to be unmatched.

But again to my surprise, I approached a spectacular work of art called the Pillars of the Valley: a tribute to Mill Creek Valley Monument created by St. Louis local Damon Davis. This wonderful work of art can be located in the far corner on the back side of the stadium grounds. This truly powerful piece works to honor and acknowledge 20,000 people who were forcefully displaced and the 5,000 buildings that were destroyed because of urban renewal in the 1950s. By including this piece that ties so deeply to our city’s history it reminds everyone who steps foot on the CityPark grounds to stand up and fight for a more inclusive future. 

The gates opened at 6 for the St. Louis SC game against Charlotte FC and even though the lines were out the door and around the corner the process to get in was painless and fast. The new technology would work to replace the metal detectors, scanning people for weapons when walking between two poles about 4ft high. This alone was such a cool experience because it allowed the line to never stop moving–getting people in as fast as possible. The impressive technology continued once inside the stadium–where there were little markets that let me just “scan and go,” grabbing whatever treats or refreshments I needed, along with food places allowing you to place orders with the touch of a screen even from your seats. With the new technology developments, the stadium is pushing towards a cleaner eco-friendly environment by eliminating potential waste. 

After all the waiting the clock hit 7 and all the fans throughout the stadium held up different color signs to read City and cheer on our team. But, from the moment the first whistle sounded the game had everyone on the edge of their seats, hoping, wishing, and longing for a win in the first-ever MLS stadium for St. Louis. This dream seemed out of reach at first when Charlotte FC took the lead early but due to the continued support from the fans and the hard work of the players they never left us out of the game. The atmosphere surrounding the pitch is one like no other, there is ever a moment to sit down, the flags and chants never stop going and with every goal, the air is filled with power pink. This experience can’t be found anywhere else no baseball or hockey fan supports their players with as much heart as soccer fans do. 

As expected from the very beginning St. Louis SC pulled out a 3-1 win with 6 yellow cards being placed upon both teams, causing fans across the state to cheer and chant all night long. This game will go down in history for the spectacular gameplay and the unwavering support from its fans leaving an impression on us all and definitely beating any and all expectations my family and I could’ve had. 

The soccer experience is like no other, especially for a city that pours its heart and soul into its teams. These incredible matches unite everyone whether you like soccer or not it is a wonderful experience that everyone needs to see.