ON JANUARY 19, 2010, the City Council of Kansas City, Kansas unanimously approved the city’s portion of funding for a soccer stadium development near The Legends Shopping Center at Village West.
- Timeline: Stadium Construction
The new stadium brought things full circle for Sporting Kansas City, a team that bided its time playing in an NFL stadium and a minor league baseball field for more than 10 years. Construction was ahead of schedule and Kansans watched as the most technologically advanced soccer-specific stadium grew before their eyes.
The stadium opened on June 9, 2011 in front of a packed house, including celebrity guest Chad Ochocinco. Fireworks lit up the sky in front of a nationally televised audience as Sporting Kansas City christened the field with guests the Chicago Fire.
Sporting Park breaks the mold for soccer-specific stadiums with its high-definition lighting, crystal clear video boards and modern, solar-friendly roof that ensures all 18,467 seats will remain dry in the event of rain. The stadium was designed in such a way that will allow for additional expansion in future years. The stadium features give separate clubs, including the one-of-a-kind Member’s Club for the club’s most ardent fans, The Cauldron.
Sporting Park serves as a perfect concert venue when the built-in stage is uncovered with 1,500 removable seats in the south end of the stadium and the seating capacity increases to 25,000. The stadium hosted the likes of Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews Band, Neil Young and John Mellencamp when Farm Aid 2011 brought its soulful, philanthropic cause to town. The stadium also played host to Buzz Beach Ball that brought Incubus and Tool to town.
Aside from the gleaming stadium, the development that was approved more than two years ago will include an 18-24 field soccer complex and a Cerner Corporation office expansion. The development is expected to create more than 8,000 new jobs in the Wyandotte County area, with a total economic impact of over $500 million annually. It is estimated that the new development will draw more than 2.5 million outside visitors per year -- approximately the same as Arrowhead Stadium (home of the Kansas City Chiefs) and Kauffman Stadium (home of the Kansas City Royals) combined.