Welcome To Centene Stadium
After much speculation, St. Louis City SC has announced a name for their soon-to-be-completed home field: Centene Stadium.
Centene is a health care corporation headquartered in Clayton and employs some 6,000 St. Louisans. That means that together with jersey advertising sponsor Purina, City's two most visible corporate sponsors are both tied to the St. Louis region. They also have an East Coast headquarters in Charlotte, however, and will have sleeve ads on the kits of new expansion team Charlotte FC as well as on the front of their training tops, so MLS expansion seems to be linked strongly to expanding visibility for the company in both conferences.
Construction on the 22,500 seat Centene Stadium should be completed later this year in advance of the team's first games in 2023, and the naming rights deal will run for a minimum of fifteen years, which should prevent the name whiplash that St. Louis has dealt with at the Kiel/Savvis/Scottrade/Enterprise Center.
While fans may long for the days before corporate stadium names, before the Emirates replaced Highbury or Guaranteed Rate Field replaced Comiskey Park, City fans can at least be relieved that it could be worse. Other recent MLS stadiums have included Lower.com Field and TQL Stadium, so St. Louis at least avoids playing at The Tickle. It also rolls off the tongue compared to the NFL's TIAA Bank Field or the NHL's PPG Paints Arena. Most importantly, it's not L.A.'s Crypto.com Arena.
For more information, check out CenteneStadium.com.
By Joe Chambers