Amateur soccer is taking over Rams Park, the St. Louis Rams' Earth City training facility until owner Stan Kroenke moved the NFL team to Los Angeles last year.
Lou Fusz Athletic said Wednesday it has obtained the rights to use the facility and is leasing the property.
“This is a phenomenal opportunity for my family and me to provide the usage of a world class facility to the kids of St. Louis," Pete Fusz, president of Lou Fusz Athletic, said in a statement. "We are thankful to take our next steps forward in professionalizing our club and provide every opportunity for our athletes to succeed."
Since 1992, Lou Fusz Soccer Club has coached thousands of St. Louis area players and produced hundreds of college athletes and professionals. The club currently fields more than 150 teams with more than 4,000 players. Fusz said the growing Lou Fusz Lacrosse Club will have nearly 15 teams and more than 150 athletes this spring.
Rams Park, which also housed the Rams' offices, has been vacant since the team moved. The public board that governs the Dome at America's Center, formerly the Edward Jones Dome, owns Rams Park.
Terms of Lou Fusz Athletic's lease were not immediately available. The dome authority had leased the 27-acre site to the Rams for $25,000 a year. Under litigation is a lease clause that gives the Rams the option to buy the park for $1 after the dome’s 29th anniversary in 2024.
Lou Fusz Athletic said it anticipates about 5,000 young athletes will have the opportunity to practice or play a game at Rams Park. Occupancy will be held by Lou Fusz Athletic, with opportunities for teams of other sports to use the facility.
CBRE represented Lou Fusz Athletic in the lease from the dorm authority, represented by Sansone Group.