We get the feeling Ted Lasso would approve: Purina and the St. Louis CITY SC have launched the Purina Club, a dog-friendly section within the CITYPARK stadium where soccer fans and their furry friends can watch the club’s home matches during its inaugural Major League Soccer (MLS) season and beyond.
The 22,500-seat soccer-specific CITYPARK stadium is part of a new stadium district which includes a practice facility, team store, and team headquarters all within a more than 30-acre urban campus in downtown St. Louis.
Offering sweeping views of CITYPARK, the Purina Club features four loges, each with space to accommodate two dogs and four humans. The space is the first permanent and dedicated pet-friendly section in an MLS stadium. Reservations for the Purina Club are available starting with a May 20 home match against Sporting Kansas City.
Purina pet experts, including Dr. Annie Valuska, a principal scientist with Purina focused on pet behavior and welfare, collaborated with stadium architects and CITY SC staff on the Purina Club design to ensure it delivers a positive and safe experience for both dogs and humans.
“At Purina, we believe pets and people are better together. It’s incredibly exciting to work with St. Louis CITY SC to include dogs in their live match experience,” said Valuska. “Ensuring the experience is as fun from a dog’s perspective as it is for fans, all while being safe and comfortable, is our top priority.”
“Ensuring the experience is as fun from a dog’s perspective as it is for fans, all while being safe and comfortable, is our top priority.”
— Dr. Annie Valuska
From gaining insights through numerous consultations and stadium visits, to incorporating feedback from professional acoustical engineers at AcoustiControl, every aspect of the Purina Club’s design is intended to ensure dogs in the stadium have the same safe, enjoyable, engaging experience as any other fan.
Located at midfield on the lower level of the east side of the stadium, Each section in Purina Club is completely covered from the elements and will be equipped with water bowls, toys, and treats. The club will also feature easy access to a dog relief area for when nature calls. Reservations in the Purina Club will come with a Purina gift bag with items like pet food coupons, exclusive Purina/CITY SC co-branded pet toys, and popular brands of Purina pet treats.
“The Purina Club celebrates the love we have for our dogs and the love we have for soccer,” said Matt Sebek, St. Louis CITY SC’s Chief Experience Officer. “For many, pets are like family, and with Purina we are looking forward to bringing our fans this way to experience gameday with their furry best friends at CITYPARK.”
The Purina Club is the latest step the pet care company and the MLS expansion team are taking to put pets at the forefront of the fan experience. Before each home match, fans will see performances from the Purina Incredible Dogs Team, and experience other interactive games and special giveaways. The club’s Pet of the Match program will highlight fans and their pets inside CITYPARK, on social media and the team app.
“Since announcing our partnership in March 2021, we’ve been working together to make CITY SC the most-pet friendly sports club in the world, and that starts with incorporating pets into the fan experience,” said Andrea Faccio, President and Chief Growth Officer at Purina. “The Purina Club is a unique and special way to connect our passion for pets and sports. We appreciate all the groups who collaborated to bring the Purina Club to life. It took a true team effort.”