Ten years ago today, one of North America's finest soccer cathedrals opened its doors for the first time.
On June 9, 2011, Sporting Kansas City and the Chicago Fire locked horns in the inaugural game at state-of-the-art Children's Mercy Park.
In the decade since then, the stadium has hosted its fair share of thrilling Sporting Kansas City matches.
However, it has also served as the sight for numerous high-profile international matches, club friendlies, college sporting events and concerts. We revisit some of the best in the space below.
2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader – June 14, 2011
Children's Mercy Park hosted the United States Men’s National Team for the first time in the nightcap of a CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader. Playing its first ever match in the state of Kansas, the U.S. beat Guadeloupe 1-0 to progress to the knockout stage. Canada and Panama kicked off the evening with a 1-1 draw as Dwayne De Rosario scored the first goal in stadium history.
Farm Aid 2011 – Aug. 13, 2011
Children's Mercy Park’s first live concert, Farm Aid 2011, attracted world-class musicians from around the world. A crowd of more than 15,000 enjoyed performances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and many more.
U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Guatemala – Oct. 16, 2012
Graham Zusi and the United States booked a place in the final round of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying with a 3-1 win over Guatemala. The Sporting Kansas City winger started in front of his home fans as Clint Dempsey’s first-half brace ensured the U.S. would be competing in the CONCACAF Hexagonal the following year.
MLS All-Stars vs. AS Roma – July 31, 2013
Major League Soccer’s best players converged on Children's Mercy Park for the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game against AS Roma. Sporting Kansas City’s Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin and Graham Zusi started for an All-Star side that also included U.S. international Landon Donovan and French legend Thierry Henry. Italian soccer icon Francesco Totti sparked a 3-1 win for Roma, who went on to finish second in the 2013-14 Serie A.
Flatlands Country Music Festival – Sept. 12-14, 2013
The 2013 Flatlands Country Music Festival featured performances from several of the most popular country music artists over three days. The weekend-long event—headlined by Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Maranda Lambert and Darius Rucker—drew 24,000 fans.
U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica – October 11, 2013
Having already punched their ticket to Brazil, the United States beat Jamaica 2-0 to secure top spot in CONCACAF’s final World Cup qualifying stage. To the delight of a sellout crowd, second-half substitute Graham Zusi scored the game-winner while centerback Matt Besler helped the U.S. post a shutout in his first international match at Children's Mercy Park.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Manchester City – July 23, 2014
A sold-out crowd saw English Premier League titleholders Manchester City open their 2014 preseason against defending MLS Cup winner Sporting Kansas City in the Champions Shield.
Buzz Beach Ball – 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016
Sporting Kansas City and 96.5 The Buzz present Buzz Beach Ball, the city's premier alternative concert, on an annual basis. The event has attracted some of the biggest names in modern rock, including Jane's Addiction (2011), Incubus (2011), Foster the People (2012), Arctic Monkeys (2014), Weezer (2014), Alt-J (2015) and Alabama Shakes (2016).
U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Costa Rica – July 22, 2016
Crystal Dunn, Mallory Pugh, Carli Lloyd and Christen Press all scored goals as the U.S. Women's National Team cruised to a 4-0 win over Costa Rica. This quartet would go on to help the U.S. WNT claim the FIFA World Cup title three years later.
U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan – July 26, 2018
In a thrilling opener of the 2018 Tournament of Nations, the U.S. WNT took their first step toward the title by defeating rivals Japan. Alex Morgan bagged a sensational hat trick and fellow superstar Megan Rapinoe also scored to spark the 4-2 victory.
FC Bayern Munich vs. AC Milan – July 23, 2019
German giants FC Bayern earned a 1-0 win over Italian side AC Milan before a sold-out crowd of 18,469. The International Champions Cup encounter was decided on the stroke of halftime when midfielder Leon Goretzka settled a pass from fellow German international Joshua Kimmich and slotted low into the corner for the match-winner. Bayern would go on to win a historic treble during the 2019-2020 season, hoisting the German Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and UEFA Champions League titles.