‘We went from zero to one hundred:’ Soccer bars already benefitting from St. Louis CITY SC
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - While so many people in St. Louis are hoping to catch home games inside the new CITY Stadium; you can’t fit everybody in the 22,500 seat facility.
That’s one reason why many soccer-oriented bars are looking to profit from St. Louis CITY SC. Amsterdam Tavern opened up nearly 15 years ago in Tower Grove as a haven for soccer fans.
“I knew that people needed a place to watch soccer in St. Louis and there wasn’t really anywhere to do it,” said Jeff Lyell, co-owner of the bar.
It’s now the place to go in St. Louis to watch soccer all over the world. Amsterdam opens in the early morning hours on the weekends because the English Premier League is their “bread and butter.” But that could be changing a bit after St. Louis CITY SC’s first official Major League Soccer match last weekend.
“We went from zero to 100 the first match,” said Lyell.
The heart-thumping road victory is one reason they’re quickly becoming a Major League Soccer bar, or maybe better put, a St. Louis CITY SC bar. Social media video from the team’s first game showed the bar absolutely packed.
“Very, very crazy. Kind of reminded me of a World Cup crowd,” said Billy Holley, general manager of Amsterdam.
Fans could be heard loud and clear, chanting and cheering the team on.
Lyell said he normally recognizes about 80% of the customers during big games.
“That match I was looking around and I was telling my partners, man, I don’t know who any of these people are. This is great! It’s a whole new crowd for us,” said Lyell.
Maggie O’Brien’s is embracing change too. The bar located across the street from CITY Stadium has done a total makeover of its building. From the ceiling to the floor, everything is new, just in time for the first CITY home game.
“That played a pretty big part in it, it was needed,” said Hunter Ricks, daytime manager of the bar.
She told News 4 they’ll be ready on Saturday.
“To my understanding, whatever I’m expecting, I think I should expect more,” said Ricks.
As for Amsterdam - Lyell said his patrons never really embraced MLS in the past. But with the new team that is likely changing.
“We’re going to have soccer from 6 o’clock in the morning until midnight on Saturdays and Sundays. I mean we’re living the dream now.”
Lyell added that if you come to Amsterdam for a St. Louis CITY SC game you should be ready to stand the entire time.
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