St. Louisan Writes Letter to Mayor Slay

Mayor Slay,

I am writing as a millennial St. Louisan with soccer in his blood.  I’ve been waiting for this moment for 20 years.  I urge you to do whatever it takes to make MLS2STL happen.  We have one shot.  We can’t let this opportunity pass us by.

This is about more than soccer.  I am concerned for the future of our city.  Will we embrace a vibrant and exciting future or will we stay stuck in the past with flat-lined growth?  I want to see a St. Louis that is attractive to future generations.  I want talent and energy to be drawn to our city rather than look for other cities where it’s welcomed.  I never want to have to consider leaving the city because opportunity is scarce and dwindling.  I’m afraid we are too quick to turn our backs on the future because the past was easier.  We can change that.  
This is about the long term viability of St. Louis.  We have a chance to re-brand ourselves.  It starts with the fastest growing sport in the country and the biggest in the world.  We have a chance to turn the tide with MLS – a league that WANTS to come to our city.  It is our opportunity to tell the country that St. Louis is not Ferguson, police shootings, the former HQ of “X” company and the scorned ex-lover of the NFL.  We are the next generation of an American powerhouse city - the history, culture, texture and power of a Detroit, Cleveland or Pittsburgh combined with the energy, growth and innovation of a Charlotte, Austin or Denver.  That is St. Louis.
The people who fill comment sections of news articles with negativity and nonsense are people who play checkers and not chess.  They are also the people that never get anything done – they just type about how it can’t be done.  The people who make history are the ones that push forward because it’s the right thing to do.  They have a vision of the city that is growing and dynamic.  They DO. 

I have full trust in you.  Not only are you a St. Louis guy, you’re a soccer guy.  You know what it means to “play for St. Louis”.  You are the perfect mayor to have in office while we fight for the MLS.  We need you.  Please put the full force of your office behind the MLS effort and I, along with droves of people my age, will be behind you pushing our city forward.  Not only will I vote for whatever measure is on the ballot, I will campaign for it in bold and creative ways to help make it happen.

Years from now, long after your days as mayor, you will be able to look back proudly on THIS TIME with your soccer buddies, as the next generation of St. Louis leaders and soccer fans run with what you helped establish, and know you lead the effort that made history.

I’ve never felt more optimistic about the future of St. Louis because of this opportunity.  Let’s NOT let the train lines run through Chicago.  Let’s NOT resist ride-sharing apps.  Let’s show the country that we are one of the best cities in America.  Let’s embrace our rich soccer history and use it as a catalyst to return to greatness.  MLS is the kick start we need.  Let’s Make St. Louis Cool Again.

Zach Collins
Proud St. Louisan
Manager, Communications and Marketing
Local Chapter, National Not-For-Profit