Location St. Louis, Missouri
Architect Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, Inc.
Contractor Mortenson/Alberici/L. Keely Construction (Joint Venture)

Football is returning to St. Louis – but not the American version. Instead, the “Gateway to the West” will embrace soccer when St. Louis CITY SC debuts as Major League Soccer’s 29th franchise in 2023. The club will play at Centene Stadium, an open-air facility in the Downtown West District that features a one-of-a-kind view of the playing field. Guaranteeing an intimate viewing experience at every price point, no seat is more than 120 feet from the pitch, which sits 40 feet below street level to emphasize the stadium’s focus on pedestrian friendliness. To ensure safe access for supporters, Trex Commercial engineered and installed more than 17,000 linear feet of custom railing, including aisle rail, drink rail and guardrail with wire mesh and glass infill. Half-frosted glass panels in front of seats in loge boxes and ADA areas optimize sightlines while custom perforated panels on tables with drink rail complement the facility’s existing panels. Our team also custom-engineered and robotically welded fencing, pickets and gates found around the exterior of the venue. However, the project was not without its challenges. Our team exercised ingenuity to successfully integrate wire mesh guardrail across long stretches and on sloped staircases, and to maintain straight lines of more than 1,000 linear feet of face-mounted railing next to visually inconsistent structural steel. Our team also created workarounds to accommodate other non-adjustable, prefabricated elements. Through open and proactive communication with both the architect and the three general contractors, we were able to effectively navigate these obstacles and still complete the project on time. The 22,500-seat stadium, which will host its first match in early 2023, is the anchor of a 31-acre development that includes team offices, training facilities and spaces for hosting year-round community events, concerts and other outdoor activities. It represents continued momentum in building stadiums for the budding MLS.