‘Been waiting for this for years’ Tens of thousands of fans swarm downtown for Battlehawks, CITY SC

Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 10:38 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Around 60,000 sports fans swarmed into the downtown St. Louis area on Saturday night to see both of the city’s newest professional sports teams, the Battlehawks and St. Louis CITY SC.

Down by the Dome, it’s hard to miss a group of tailgaters hours before the Battlehawks took the field.

“We’re the flying Hawaiians of 147,” said Michael Gage.

Gage said the ‘Flying Hawaiians’ are “huge sports guys” and you could see that clearly, as they set up NCAA Tournament basketball outside.

Nobody was shocked people would be packing both the Dome and CITYPARK on Sunday. Something that has not happened before.

“It doesn’t surprise me, I’m never surprised by this city, we’ll show out. I mean, it’s 20 degrees we’ve got soccer down the street,” said Gage.

Gage was also wearing a CITY SC hat. He said he sold his tickets for the soccer game, choosing football instead.

But there were clearly plenty of takers in Downtown West.

It was Mitchell Bales’ first game. He came for the soccer and the St. Louis-based concessions inside.

“I don’t need $20 chicken strips. I’d rather have Steve’s Hot Dogs,” said Bales.

Season ticket holder Mark Montgomery was layered up. He doesn’t want to miss any of these games he’s waited a long to see.

“I’ve been waiting for this for years, I grew up with the Steamers and the Storm and the Ambush and everybody else, so this is that one step closer to where we want to be,” said Montgomery.

Weather was frigid Saturday. Fans had different approaches and feelings toward the cold weather.

“I’m not worried about it,” said young CITY SC fan Ethan Biggs.

“Dress, cheer, run, yell, you know some food and drinks,” said Montgomery.

And there’s always this tactic.

“It’s cold, but we don’t worry about that, get a few Battle beers in us, and we’re lubricated, and it’s warm,” said Gage.