By David Demarco, Editor
The Family Arena, which has been limited to graduations, circuses and MMA events for the past several years, has finally returned to year-round relevance for local sports fans. For some it feels like an eternity, but it was only a decade ago when the St. Louis Steamers, River City Rage and Missouri River Otters all took turns performing in front of the local St. Charles community. In the past year, the St. Louis Ambush soccer team was resurrected, the St. Charles Chill hockey team was founded, and the Kentucky Monsters football team, now the St. Louis Attack, relocated.
The Ambush won the popularity contest out of the gate. Not only do they share a name with a popular team that played in St. Louis during the 90’s, but they are managed by the fan favorite Daryl Doran. The well-known Doran is a homegrown star that has both played for and managed several St. Louis professional soccer teams since the early 80’s including the Ambush, Steamers, Storm and Illusion. Despite an underwhelming 4-16 record, the Ambush drew an impressive crowd including passing the seven thousand mark for their home finale. Since the season concluded, the Major Indoor Soccer League has folded, but owner Andrew Haines released a statement promising the Ambush will change leagues and remain in St. Charles.
While the Ambush kicked off their first season, so did the St. Charles Chill. The Chill belong to the newly formed Central Hockey League and are affiliated with the St. Louis Blues. Like the Ambush, the Chill built up a loyal fan base despite their miserable play on the ice. Their 11-49-6 record was not only dead last, but they only scored 28 goals. It’s quite embarrassing considering the next lowest scoring team was the Wichita Thunder with 63.
In late March, the St. Louis Attack began their first season after rebranding from the Monsters. Unlike their fellow tenants at the Family Arena, the Attack have dominated from the start. Their impressive 3-0 record puts them on top of the newly formed X-League after a big win over the Florida Marine Raiders on April 11. With four more league games to go, the Attack have become the frontrunners to win the X-Bowl in June.
After a hiatus of local professional sports, the arrival of the Chill, Ambush and Attack have re-energized a St. Charles community that has an appetite for local sports. Not only have they all provided us with local and affordable entertainment, but all three have been visible in the community assisting local charities, schools and small businesses. The Family Arena is no longer the ghost of St. Charles professional sports, but is once again the host of exciting local entertainment. And, hopefully, will be able to continue to house the trio for years to come.