St. Louis CITY SC & Partners to Install 11 Mini-Pitches Across St. Louis Region

Continuing in the club’s mission to be an exceptional neighbor and create a lasting impact in the community through the power of sport, St. Louis CITY SC is partnering with American Family Insurance and the U.S. Soccer Foundation to make soccer more accessible to all by installing 11 mini-pitches across the St. Louis region, with the entire project designated for completion by the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Today, CITY SC announced the first three mini-pitch locations: Ferguson; Fairmont City, Illinois; and DeSoto Park in the City of St. Louis. The DeSoto Park mini-pitch is currently in progress, with the Fairmont City mini-pitch scheduled to break ground this fall and Ferguson early next year. The remaining mini-pitch locations, with input from area residents, local park and recreation departments, and community groups, will be finalized and announced in the future.

“One of our missions as a club has always been to make soccer accessible to all,” said St. Louis CITY SC’s CEO Carolyn Kindle. “Not only will the mini-pitches provide an opportunity for residents to play soccer together, but it will also unite the community through the power of sport. We strive to be an exceptional club and neighbor and want to help grow the beautiful game by ensuring soccer can be enjoyed across the region, whether it’s through a pickup game, tournaments or training sessions. We can’t thank American Family Insurance and the U.S. Soccer Foundation enough for partnering with us on this important project.”

Mini-pitches are small, customized, hard-court surfaces that are well suited for both organized soccer and pickup games. Serving as a haven for play, mini-pitches increase soccer participation, strengthen communities and improve the lives of youth. The mini-pitches include lights to increase the number of hours children and adults use the spaces. CITY SC’s mini-pitches will be installed by Musco Lighting, the club’s stadium lighting partner and creator of the Mini-Pitch System™, in areas within a 15-mile radius of CITYPARK, particularly those lacking or offering little soccer programming, furthering CITY SC’s commitment to bringing soccer to everyone in the region.

The mini-pitches serve as an important extension of the club’s CITY Futures platform, providing children and adults access to play in spaces that will instill hope and foster well-being. In addition to events organized and staffed by St. Louis CITY SC community coaches, the club will partner with the City of St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, along with other municipalities and community organizations, to create ongoing programming around the new mini-pitches.

“We’re honored to be a part of such a meaningful initiative to provide more places for community members to play soccer,” said Maureen Headrick, American Family Insurance’s Sponsorship and Events Director. “This program enables us to join CITY SC in improving access to soccer and better serve under-resourced neighborhoods, bringing residents together for healthy play and strengthening our communities.”

This program builds upon the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s mission to provide under-resourced communities with access to the beautiful game. Since 2015, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has installed more than 600 mini-pitches across the country, with the goal of installing 1,000 by 2026.

“We’re thrilled to partner with CITY SC, American Family Insurance and Musco Lighting to create 11 mini-pitches across the St. Louis region,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s President & CEO. “We’ve seen how impactful mini-pitches are in creating access to the sport and transforming communities, and we want to continue being a catalyst for change in communities across the country.”

“With these mini-pitches, we want to establish a street soccer experience for our youth,” said Sascha Bauer, St. Louis CITY SC’s Director of Regional Training and Education. “Historically, street soccer has contributed worldwide to many players’ careers in learning the main ingredients of the game. Playing without adults is different – young players have more space to be creative and grow their game in the most fun way – by playing.

“Through our CITY Futures programming, our coaches help players grow their self-confidence, learn to problem-solve and better handle conflicts while establishing a culture of respectful communication through our soccer and life-skills curriculum,” he continued.

CITY Futures’ impact on the St. Louis regional community is far and wide:

• Approximately 1,500 kids have participated in CITY Futures training and clinics since the program launched in 2022
• CITY SC has coordinated more than 350 clinics, camps and training sessions
• Activities are spread across the region with 5 outdoor satellite locations and 17 different schools hosting indoor training sessions
• There are 3 World Wide Technology CITY Cup events each year, featuring up to 300 players ages 7-12
• Nearly 60 community coaches are currently on the CITY Futures roster
• Identified 34 kids to advance to the CITY Futures Select program