ST. LOUIS – Sunday marks a major milestone in St. Louis soccer history: the first MLS playoff game of St. Louis CITY SC’s inaugural season.
And what better way to start the playoffs than with a rivalry game? St. Louis CITY SC meets Sporting Kansas City.
It’s not really an in-state matchup with Kansas-based Sporting KC. But you might consider the CITY-Sporting playoff round as another chapter in the Interstate 70 Series, first defined by the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals-Kansas City Royals World Series.
Rivalry aside, Sunday promises to be an exciting spectacle for both football fans and the St. Louis community. Tens of thousands are expected downtown to either fill CITYPARK or enjoy other elements of the playoff football atmosphere.
To plan Sunday in advance, here are some important things you should know:
St. Louis CITY SC has the opportunity to play up to three games in its first playoff series against Sporting Kansas City. They will play at least twice, including the first at home and the second away.
In the event of a tied series after two games, St. Louis would host the series-clinching game. This is the current schedule for this weekend:
- Game 1: Sunday, October 29 (CITYPARK – St. Louis) – 9 p.m
- Game 2: Sunday, November 5 (Children’s Mercy Park – Kansas City) – 4 p.m
- Game 3: (If necessary) Saturday, November 11th (CITYPARK – St. Louis) – 6 p.m
Although the first game is scheduled for 9:00 p.m., kickoff could start closer to 9:20 or 9:30 a.m. due to the development of other MLS games on Sunday.
Another important thing to keep in mind when planning this round: There are no draws. If a game is tied outside of regular time, it will be decided by a penalty shootout.
How to watch/listen
If you want to watch the game live without a ticket for CITY SC’s playoff debut, you have two options.
The game will be broadcast nationally on FS1. Anyone with an Apple TV account can also watch the first game for free. You don’t need Apple TV+ or MLS Season Plus to watch the first game of the series, just an account to access a stream that will be available on Sunday.
If you are in the St. Louis area but do not have access to FS1 or Apple TV, you can listen to the show via radio on 98.1 FM.
Some Game 1 tickets are available for as little as $74 (excluding fees), but most options cost at least $100. If you have a ticket for Sunday, you can enter the stadium as early as 7:30 p.m. CT.
If you can’t make it to the first game, you might consider a quick road trip to Kansas City for the second game, with some tickets starting as low as $43 (plus fees). Tickets for a possible third game are not yet publicly available.
CITY SC’s path to the playoffs
St. Louis CITY SC finished its inaugural season with a record of 17-5-12 and 56 points. The 17 wins surpassed a record for most points by an expansion team in its first year, and the 56 points fell one point shy of the record for most points by an expansion team in its inaugural season.
CITY SC celebrated five consecutive wins to start its first season, setting an MLS record. They never went more than three games without picking up at least one point in the standings. CITY SC became the first team to secure a spot in the playoffs on September 21st and officially secured first place in the Western Conference on October 1st.
In a direct comparison, CITY SC won two of three games and scored nine goals against Sporting KC in the regular season. The home team won every game of the regular season. Sporting KC defeated the San Jose Earthquakes in a Wild Card round on Wednesday, advancing to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and setting up Sunday’s contest against St. Louis.
St. Louis CITY SC’s executives are fairly well established. Three are up for the MLS year-end goalkeeper award Roman Bürkimidfield player Edward Lions and midfielder Tim Parker. On the offensive, Niko Gioacchini And Klauss set the bar high and shared the team lead with 10 goals.
Kansas City has had a strong core of players for several years. defender Graham Zusi is the team’s longest-serving player, debuting for Sporting KC in 2008. goalkeeper Tim Meliaforward Daniel Salloi and captain Johnny Russell All bring at least five years of Kansas City experience.
Parking options near CITYPARK are in high demand and many of these spaces are primarily given to parking permit holders. The options closest to CITYPARK include the Premium CITY Garage, located on Olive Street near 20th Street.
The Union Station parking lot is also a relatively quick walk to the stadium, but demand could be high there too. Other nearby options include parking lots at 409 South 15th Street, 360 South 18th Street and 1211 Spruce Street.
Ballpark Village offers shuttles to and from CITYPARK, but fees may apply in some cases. Outlines of CITY SC a few other parking spaces that may require a bit of a walk.
If you want to avoid the hassle of parking, you can take the subway to the Union Station exit or arrange a ride to the Locust Street stop between 20th and 21st Streets.
If you can’t attend CITY SC’s first playoff game or celebration, you can enjoy the experience at a watch party. At least 18 bars are registered as part of the St. Louis CITY SC watch party experience, called “CITY On Tap Presented By Michelob ULTRA.”
CITY On Tap bars are all registered with MLS Season Pass credentials and plan to broadcast broadcasts of all remaining games this year. This includes many locations in the city of St. Louis and the following suburbs:
- Arnold, Missouri
- Florissant, Missouri
- Kirkwood, Missouri
- O’Fallon, Missouri
- Valley Park, Missouri
- Webster Groves, Missouri
- Alton, Illinois
- Columbia, Illinois
- Edwardsville, Illinois
- O’Fallon, Illinois
To find a CITY On Tap location near you, Click here.
Rest of the playoffs
After the Wild Card Round, MLS plans to schedule conference semifinals and finals between November 25th and December 3rd. Unlike the best-of-three first-round series, these rounds only consist of a winner-take-all match. The MLS Cup will take place on December 9th between the Western and Eastern Conference champions and will also only consist of a single game.
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