Support Soccer at Marquette Park

Dutchtown’s youth deserve more from St. Louis. Our new MLS team could help bring it to them. In this guest post by DT2 President and Allies of Marquette Park founder Nate Lindsey, we’ll learn about the history and future of soccer at Marquette Park. If you’d like to donate to help fund improvements to the soccer field, visit dutch.town/soccer.


By most accounts, the sports movie The Game of Their Lives was a flop. However, the film has a cult following locally in St. Louis. It was recently shown outside in Carondelet Park and its popularity will surely grow with the news that a Major League Soccer team is coming to St. Louis.

Partly filmed on Dutchtown’s own Marquette Park soccer field in front of the iconic field house, the movie tells the story of the 1950 US Men’s National Team that was stacked with local St. Louis talent and against all odds managed to beat England 1-0 in Brazil. According to IMDB, the movie had a budget of $20,000,000, but grossed only $375,000. Considering the film was directed by the same man that brought us Hoosiers and Rudy, it’s hard to believe it gained so little notoriety. 

"The Game of Their Lives" movie poster.I hadn’t even heard of the movie or the historic soccer match until I tweeted out a picture of one of Marquette Park’s goal posts that had lost its crossbar and was informed by the Internet that none other than Gerard Butler (playing Frank Borghi) had previously defended that very goal that now stood derelict on the field.

The local St. Louis players in the movie, we are told, were a part of a long tradition of organized Italian-American soccer played in The Hill neighborhood since the early 1900s. The only non-white player on the US National team was Joseph Gaetjens, a Haitian-American who scored the winning goal. While the U.S. National team has become more diverse since the 1950s, there is still a clear soccer interest gap in America defined by race.

Alvin Reid recently wrote about this for the St. Louis American. One quote that stuck with me came from Mark Lewis, a Jamaican native who coaches in the District of Columbia. “I never see a kid in Anacostia carrying a soccer ball. In the white neighborhoods you see that every day.”

Marquette Park soccer goal crossbars in disrepair.While there are a variety of reasons soccer hasn’t become more popular in black communities, one of the greatest is likely accessibility. Many may point to soccer as more economical and therefore accessible given it requires less equipment to purchase than many sports and is even favored by new immigrants to the country bringing a passion for the sport with them, but we need look no further than our city’s history and Marquette Park’s field to understand how we have short-changed our youth when it comes to opportunities to play the game.

According to the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Plan produced by Rise Community Development and Dutchtown South Community Corporation the area surrounding Marquette Park is one of the city’s youngest (40% under the age of 21), most diverse (78% non-white), and most struggling (39% of households below poverty line) neighborhoods. Yet the city of St. Louis has only recently kicked-off a recreational league for kids in this area.

Marquette Park entrance sign.I couldn’t be happier that one of the chosen locations for kids to play is Marquette Park, but the current existing conditions of the field leave much to be desired. One of the ongoing tropes throughout the movie is the team’s lack of official United States red, white, and blue uniforms. One player repeatedly asks for them and the coach repeatedly tells him they are on the way. The team makes it all the way to the games in Brazil without having any uniforms, despite being told what an honor it is to wear the jersey and represent their country.

This is how our youth in Dutchtown must feel. We hear time and time again how important investment in our youth is. We hear how organized recreational activities and well-utilized parks are not only critical to children’s development, but promote safety and neighborhood prosperity as well. Yet we also continually find an excuse not to dedicate investment into even the resources we already have. We give our kids in Dutchtown the “opportunity” to play soccer without balls, on fields without mowed grass, and with goalposts without crossbars.

Marquette Park soccer field conditions.If the MLS and new ownership group wants to build on an already thriving soccer culture in St. Louis, how about putting their dollars where they will go the furthest and promoting the sport where it needs it the most. Building youth soccer from the ground up at Marquette Park provides that opportunity in an area that would normally be overlooked.

When the hero players from The Hill finally got their jerseys, they played like champions shocking the world by defeating England in America’s first World Cup victory. Maybe if our kids in the city and around Marquette Park are provided with facilities we can all be proud of, they’ll grow up to be the next generation of St. Louis soccer greats. Perhaps, just maybe, someone can dig up this article years from now when a St. Louis kid from Dutchtown is raising the World Cup. It all starts with the decision to create a real opportunity to play the game.


Nate Lindsey is the President of Downtown Dutchtown (DT2) and currently organizing Allies of Marquette Park (AMP), which raised over $7,000 last month for improvements to Marquette Park Pool.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation in support of AMP’s efforts to improve Marquette Park’s soccer field and youth soccer in the area, visit dutch.town/soccer.

August Events in Dutchtown

The dog days of summer are here, but don’t let that stop you from getting out and about in the neighborhood! Check out our calendar frequently—we’re always adding more events! And be sure to follow our FacebookInstagram, and Twitter accounts for more updates and other fun stuff.

Moana at the Marquette Park Pool.

Dive-In Movie at Marquette Park Pool

In July, DT2 and the Allies of Marquette Park held a Dive-In Movie Fundraiser and raised over $7,000! As wonderful a success as that is, the actual dive-in movie portion of the fundraiser was rained out. So we’re trying again!

On Saturday, August 10th, bring the family to the Marquette Park Pool for a poolside showing of Disney’s Moana at sunset. This time admission is free, but if you’d still like to make a donation towards improvements at the pool, visit dutch.town/pool.

Marquette Community Day flyer.Marquette Community Day

Unity is the best community! Marquette Community Day, Dutchtown’s largest annual back-to-school event, returns to Marquette Park on Sunday, August 4th. Bring the kids down to the park from noon to 4pm for free backpacks filled with school supplies, free haircuts, free food, a petting zoo, music, plus lots of other activities for kids and resources for parents.

Neighborhood Meetings

The Gravois Park Neighborhood Association meets on Tuesday, August 13th. Their monthly meetings are on the second Tuesday of every month, 6pm at the newly dedicated Rita Ford Community Center at 3353 California, just north of Cherokee Street.

Dutchtown West holds their next meeting on Wednesday, August 14th. They meet on the second Wednesday every month at 7pm in the banquet hall at Grbic Restaurant.

Cherokee Street CID meeting sign. Photo by Paul Sableman.The Cherokee Street Community Improvement District has their next public meeting on Thursday, August 15th. Their meetings are held monthly on the third Thursday, 5:30pm at Artist Art.

The St. Cecilia Historic District Neighborhood Association meets on Tuesday, August 20th. They meet at St. Cecilia School every third Thursday at 6:30pm.

The Board of Directors of the Dutchtown Community Improvement District convene on Thursday, August 22nd. Board of Directors meetings are held monthly on the fourth Thursday, 5:30pm at Urban Eats Café.

Marine Villa gathers on Monday, August 26th for their next monthly meeting. They meet on the fourth Monday of every month, 7pm in the back room at Irish Corner Pub.

More Dutchtown Events

The next St. Anthony of Padua flea market is Saturday, August 3rd from 8am to 2pm. Come by the Parish Hall at 3135 Meramec for some great bargains on housewares, clothing, collectibles, and more.

Perennial hosts another Community Clothing Swap on Sunday, August 4th. The door fee is $10 when you bring clothes to swap or $15 if you come empty-handed. All proceeds benefit Perennial’s educational programs.

Join the Gravois Park Neighborhood Association for a neighborhood-wide alley cleanup on Sunday, August 4th at 1:30pm. Volunteers will meet at Gravois Park. If you know of an alley that needs attention, leave a comment on the Facebook event page.

The Allies of Marquette Park hold their next meeting on Sunday, August 11th at 1pm. Join them to tour and audit the facilities at Marquette Park.

The next Sip ‘n Sketch is Wednesday, August 14th at Thomas Dunn Learning Center. Join guest instructor and local artist Sandra Griffin for this life drawing class. Adults of all skill levels are welcome to join—BYOB and a snack.

Earthbound Beer and Green Earth Art Company team up for a Maker’s Market on Sunday, August 18th at Cherokee and Iowa. The market will feature over a dozen local artists and makers. Check the Facebook event page for a list of vendors.

The Dutchtown South Community Empowerment Committee meets on Wednesday, August 28th, 6pm at Thomas Dunn Learning Center. Help implement DSCC’s programs throughout the neighborhood and share your ideas. Dinner and childcare are provided.


There’s always something going on in Dutchtown—just check out the Dutchtown calendar! Follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for even more Dutchtown news, and sign up for our mailing list for occasional updates.

Top photo courtesy of Tom Lampe.

Allies of Marquette Park Raise $7000

Downtown Dutchtown (DT2) is spearheading a new group, Allies of Marquette Park (AMP), to focus on creating public-private partnerships for driving investment into Marquette Park.

On July 17th, AMP and DT2 held a Dive-In Movie fundraiser at the pool that abruptly turned into an indoor showing when a patented midwest severe weather system showed up out of nowhere and drenched St. Louis.

Neighbors gather in the Marquette Rec Center for a movie night fundraiser.

Despite the heavy storms, over 50 committed neighbors and allies showed up to stand in the rain for the Guerrilla Street Food Truck, drink Urban Chestnut’s best brews, and watch the classic 80s movie Splash inside the Marquette Rec Center Gym.

The fund-a-need video, produced by Cross Grand, was well received and spurred over $2000 in donations to the pool effort. The first $1000 was matched 5 times over by private partners identified by DT2 for a total of over $7000 which will go toward new pool furniture and amenities in summer 2020.

Marquette Pool from Cross Grand on Vimeo.

Due to the rainout of the poolside movie, DT2 plans to host a make-up event that is free to the public. Follow DutchtownSTL.org for more details on the date and time of the makeup event.

Missed out on the event? You can see donate at dutch.town/pool.

July Events in Dutchtown

Things are heating up in Dutchtown! Read on to see what’s going on this summer around the neighborhood. Visit our calendar throughout the month as we’re always adding more events! And make sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for even more updates.

Dive-In Movie to benefit the Marquette Park Pool.

Dive-In Movie Fundraiser for Marquette Park Pool

On Wednesday, July 17th, DT2 and the Allies of Marquette Park are hosting an adult swim and dive-in movie to raise funds for improvements to the Marquette Park Pool! Your $20 ticket gets you into the pool for a screening of the 80s classic Splash featuring Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah, plus food and two drinks.

Additionally, DT2 has secured a 5-to-1 matching donation for their fund-a-need auction! Every dollar donated during the auction secures five more dollars to help provide pool furniture and other amenities at the South Side’s only free outdoor pool.

Purchase tickets and make donations at Eventbrite.

Gravois-Jefferson Leadership Academy

Gravois-Jefferson Leadership Academy

Dutchtown South Community Corporation is looking for residents of all ages and backgrounds from Northeast Dutchtown, Gravois Park, and Benton Park West who are interested in being leaders in their neighborhood. If you have ideas about housing, safety, youth and education, or employment and business development, the Gravois-Jefferson Leadership Academy will help you put your ideas into action.

Meetings will be on Mondays (except for the final session, which is a Thursday) at 6pm from July 29th through September 5th. Click here for more information and to sign up. If you have questions or would like further information, please contact Sunni Hutton at sunni@dutchtownsouth.org or call 314-352-4865.

Neighborhood Meetings

Gravois Park Neighborhood Association meets at 6pm on Tuesday, July 9th at 3353 California, just north of Cherokee, in the old Jefferson Bank building.

Dutchtown West Neighborhood Association holds their next meeting on Wednesday, July 10th, at 7pm. They meet in the banquet hall at Grbic Restaurant, 4071 Keokuk.

St. Cecilia Historic District Neighborhood Association meets Tuesday, July 16th, 6:30pm in the cafeteria at St. Cecilia Academy. Enter from Alaska in between the school and the church.

The Cherokee Street CID holds their monthly meeting on Thursday, July 18th, 5:30pm at Artist Art, 2643 Cherokee.

Marine Villa Neighborhood Association‘s next meeting is on Monday, July 22nd at 7pm. Find them in the back room at Irish Corner Pub at Cherokee and Lemp.

The Dutchtown CID Board of Directors meets on Thursday, July 25th, 5:30pm at Urban Eats Café.

Thomas Dunn Learning Center. Photo by Nick Findley.

Thomas Dunn Learning Center

Visit Thomas Dunn Learning Center‘s Art Lab Monday through Thursday from 3pm to 6pm. Work on your own piece or participate in the focus of the day. Art supplies are available along with tons of items to reuse and repurpose.

The South Side Youth Council meets every Monday at 4pm at Thomas Dunn. The South Side Youth Council aims to contribute to the South Side community by creating and organizing youth led programs and events.

Sip ‘n Sketch is Wednesday, July 10th at 6:30pm. Adults of all skill levels are invited to participate in this life drawing class exploring a variety of materials and techniques. Bring a snack and a beverage. Register by calling 314-282-9314.

Join Sonia Dae Slankard, Thomas Dunn’s artist-in-residence, on July 18th, 19th, and 20th for Soniapalooza. Celebrate Sonia’s first solo art reception by making art, music, food, and more. Visit the Facebook event page for a complete listing of Soniapalooza events.

Sign up for Poetry and Printmaking for Girls with LitShop. Girls ages 10 to 14 will learn to write, publish, print, and perform poetry at this weeklong camp. Camp meets Monday through Friday from 10am to noon. Session one is July 15th–19th and session two is July 22nd–26th. Register here.

For boys, an art camp with Flower Boi will teach self-expression through the creation of self portraits. This camp runs from Monday, July 15th to Friday, July 19th from 10am to 1pm. Email flowerboistl@gmail.com to register.

More Dutchtown Events

The next Cherokee Street Trashy Hour is Thursday, July 11th. Meet at Earthbound Beer at 5pm, go out and pick up trash around the neighborhood, then head back to the brewery to enjoy a few beverages with your neighbors. Register at Nebula’s website.

The Allies of Marquette Park hold their next meeting on Sunday, July 14th, 1pm at the Marquette Recreation Center. Tour the facilities, discuss plans to activate the park, and help grow this exciting new neighborhood organization.

Earthbound Beer hosts a Bastille Day brunch on Sunday, July 14th. Celebrate the revolution with lots of baguette-based treats and French-inspired cocktails.

The Gravois Park Neighborhood Association is organizing an alley cleanup on Monday, July 15th beginning at 9am. Volunteers from Brightside St. Louis will be helping. If you’d like to volunteer or direct attention to an alley that needs help visit the Facebook event page.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department South Patrol Division hosts a community crime summit on Tuesday, July 23rd, 5:30pm at Bishop DuBourg High School in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood. Capt. Donnell Moore of the First District and Capt. Michael Deeba of the Second District will take questions at this town hall meeting.

Dutchtown South Community Corporation’s next Community Empowerment Committee meeting is Wednesday, July 31st, 6pm at Thomas Dunn Learning Center. July’s meeting will discuss environmental justice and DSCC’s So Fresh So Clean initiative. Dinner and child care are provided.


We’ve got something for you every day on the Dutchtown calendar! Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for even more Dutchtown news. You can also sign up for our mailing list for occasional updates.

Top photo by Paul Sableman.

June Events in Dutchtown

It’s summertime in Dutchtown! Check out some of the great opportunities to get out and get engaged with your community in June. Keep an eye on our calendar for new events, and follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for even more updates.

Marquette Park Youth Movie Night

Downtown Dutchtown invites you to Marquette Park on Saturday, June 29th for an evening celebrating our local youth with free food, fun, and Wakanda forever. Black Panther will be shown on a 20 foot screen on the hill next to the Field House. Bring the kids, bring their friends, bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and Black Panther costumes, and whatever else you want.  The event starts at 7pm and the movie will begin around 8:30pm when the sun sets.

Marquette Park Youth Movie Night is sponsored by DT2, Allies of Marquette Park, Ald. Cara Spencer, and Logan’s Kids Resale.

Stay tuned for more movie nights later this summer. In July, we’ll have a special movie night just for grown-ups, and August will feature a film for the whole family.

Marquette Recreation Center in Marquette Park.Grand Opening of The Place

You’re invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of The Place, a new youth drop-in center at the Marquette Recreation Center. The ribbon cutting is at 2pm on June 19th.

The Place is designed to provide a safe place for youth to further develop their educational and life skills by providing them with mentors and variety of community resources. The Place will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3pm to 6pm starting the week of June 3rd.

Neighborhood Meetings

The Gravois Park Neighborhood Association meets on Tuesday, June 11th at 6pm. Gravois Park meetings are held in the old Jefferson Bank building at 3353 California, just north of Cherokee Street.

Dutchtown West meets on Wednesday, June 12th at 7pm. Their meeting is in the banquet hall at Grbic Restaurant at the corner of Meramec and Keokuk.

The St. Cecilia Historic District Neighborhood Association meets on Tuesday, June 18th at 6:30pm. June’s meeting will be at the Carondelet Historical Society at 6303 Michigan Avenue.

The Cherokee Street Community Improvement District holds their monthly public meeting on Thursday, June 20th. The meeting is at 5:30pm at Artist Art, 2643 Cherokee.

The next Marine Villa neighborhood meeting is Monday, June 24th at 7pm. Marine Villa meets in the back room at Irish Corner Pub on the corner of Cherokee and Lemp.

Dutchtown CID Meetings

In addition to the monthly Dutchtown CID Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, June 27th, 5:30pm at Urban Eats, the three Dutchtown CID committees will also meet in June.

On Thursday, June 6th, the Beautification and Maintenance Committee meets. The meeting is at 5:30pm in the office of architect Tony Duncan at the old Stork Inn building, 4527 Virginia.

The Marketing and Development Committee meets on Thursday, June 13th at 6pm. They’ll meet at Original Crusoe’s at Compton and Osceola.

The Safety and Security Committee also meets at Crusoe’s. Their meeting is on Thursday, June 20th at 5:30pm.

Thomas Dunn Learning Center. Photo by Nick Findley.

Thomas Dunn Learning Center

Limited space and waiting list spots are available for the City of St. Louis’s Playtime Recreation summer camps at Thomas Dunn Learning Center and other locations throughout the City. Camps at Thomas Dunn include fashion, karate, cooking, and poetry. Register now at the City’s website.

Visit Thomas Dunn Learning Center‘s Art Lab Monday through Thursday from 3pm to 6pm. Work on your own piece or participate in the focus of the day. Art supplies are available along with tons of items to reuse and repurpose.

The South Side Youth Council meets every Monday at 4pm at Thomas Dunn. The South Side Youth Council aims to contribute to the South Side community by creating and organizing youth led programs and events.

Sip ‘n Sketch is Wednesday, June 12th at 6:30pm. Everyone can participate in this life drawing class for all skill levels. Bring a snack and a beverage. Register by calling 314-282-9314.

More Dutchtown Events

Join Tenth Life Cat Rescue for Cats ‘n Mats Yoga, an open-level yoga class with Tenth Life’s cats, on Wednesday, June 5th at 6pm. $10 of every ticket sold goes to fund Tenth Life’s ongoing rescue mission.

Earthbound Beer hosts a tiki party on Friday, June 7th at their tap room. Enjoy tiki drinks and Hawaiian food by PokeDoke.

St. Anthony of Padua hosts an indoor flea market on Saturday, June 8th. The market will be in the parish hall at 3135 Meramec, across the street from the church, from 8am to 2pm.

Celebrate Juneteenth at Love Bank Park on June 16th from 11am to 5pm. This family-friendly event features food, vendors, live music, speakers, and more.

Dutchtown South Community Corporation‘s Community Empowerment Committee meets on Wednesday, June 26th at 6pm at Thomas Dunn Learning Center. Help to plan and implement DSCC’s programs. Dinner and child care are provided.


There’s something going on every day on the Dutchtown calendar! Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for even more Dutchtown news. You can also sign up for our mailing list for occasional updates.