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St. Louis /se?nt 'lu??s/ (French: Saint-Louis or St-Louis, is an independent city and a major United States port on the eastern line of the state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 319,294, and a 2012 estimate put the population at 318,172, making it the 58th-largest U.S. city in 2012. The metropolitan St. Louis area, known as Greater St. Louis, is the 19th-largest metropolitan area in the United States with a population of 2,900,605. St. Louis is considered a beta- global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.
The city of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, and named for Louis IX of France, the only canonised King of France. After the Louisiana Purchase, it became a major port on the Mississippi River. Its population expanded after the American Civil War, and it became the fourth-largest city in the United States in the late 19th century. It seceded from St. Louis County in March 1877, allowing it to become an independent city and limiting its political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the 1904 Summer Olympics. The city's population peaked in 1950, then began a long decline that continues in the 21st century.
The economy of St. Louis relies on service, manufacturing, trade, transportation of goods, and tourism. The city is home to several corporations including Peabody Energy, Ameren, Ralcorp and Sigma-Aldrich. St. Louis is home to three professional sports teams:
Professional sports.The St. Louis Cardinals, one of the oldest franchises in Major League Baseball, play at Busch Stadium and have accumulated 11 World Series titles, with the most recent being in 2011. The Gateway Grizzlies and the River City Rascals of the Frontier League (which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball) also play in the area. The St. Louis Rams, an American football team in the National Football League play at the Edward Jones Dome and have won three NFL championships, including one Super Bowl victory. The St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League play at the Scottrade Center, and the region hosts NHRA drag racing and NASCAR events at the Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Illinois.
Amateur sports: At the collegiate level, St. Louis has hosted the Final Four of both the women's and men's college basketball NCAA Division I championship tournaments, and the Frozen Four collegiate ice hockey tournament. Although the area does not currently support a National Basketball Association team, it hosts an American Basketball Association team called the St. Louis Phoenix. St. Louis University has won 10 NCAA Men's Soccer Championships, and the city has hosted the College Cup several times. In addition to collegiate soccer, St. Louisans have played for the United States men's national soccer team, and 20 St. Louisans have been elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. St. Louis also is the origin of the sport of corkball, a type of baseball in which there is no base running. The St. Louis TV market is the largest in the nation without a Division I college football team.