Sporting Kansas City will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the club's inaugural game on April 13 when they welcome the Colorado Rapids back to Kansas City exactly two decades to the day since the teams first took the field in 1996.
While that night of MLS nostalgia awaits, Sporting KC's new USL team will begin making their own history tonight with the debut of the Swope Park Rangers at Children's Mercy Park. Here's your gameday guide to set the stage for the launch of the Swope Park Rangers era.
Simply put, Swope Park Rangers home matches are the most affordable professional sports experience in town. Tickets for tonight's match start at $8 and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or at the stadium box offices. Season tickets, starting as low as $105 for all 15 home matches, can be bought by calling 888-4KC-GOAL. Looking for the best deal? Buy two season tickets, get two youth season tickets free for kids 12 and under.
KEEPSAKE TIMES TWO
All fans who spend $10 or more on concessions or merchandise at tonight's game will receive a limited edition commemorative ticket while supplies last. The ticket is 8.5" by 2.75" and printed on ultra-thick cardstock in full color on front and back. Hold onto the ticket because the stub has a voucher good for one FREE ticket to the Swope Park Rangers next match at Children's Mercy Park on Aug. 21 against cross-state rivals St. Louis FC. There's also a spot for autographs which could come in handy when the players do a lap around the field postgame to thank fans for their support.
Can't make it to the match? All Swope Park Rangers matches in 2016 will be streamed live in full HD on SportingKC.com. Carter Augustine, co-host of the Sporting KC Show on Sports Radio 810, and SKCTV's Jake Yadrich will call tonight's action. Plus, the highly-anticipated Skycam was installed in the stadium this week and -- like SPR -- will be introduced for the first time.
FOLLOW ON SOCIAL
Want to sit in the Victory Suite at Children's Mercy Park? Or win autographed memorabilia? Fans who follow the Swope Park Rangers official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts are rewarded with frequent giveaways. You can also count on behind-the-scenes access and in-game updates all season long. Looking for photos? Check out the SPR Flickr albums. And videos? There's an SPR YouTube playlist, too. Sporting KC Uphoria users can also capture their own content with two custom-themed Swope Park Rangers overlays on the mySKC cam for tonight's game and there are special Snapchat filters available in conjunction with #USLKickoff Weekend.
WEAR THE GEAR
A brand new line of Swope Park Rangers apparel launches later today on SportingStyle.com. Don't forget, Sporting KC season ticket members receive a 5% discount on Sporting Style merchandise. And fans who donate new or gently used soccer equipment tonight for Recycle Your Game will receive a 10% discount. There's also free shipping on all orders over $50 at SportingStyle.com or fans can stop by the pop-in store in the Boulevard Members Club from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday thru Saturday.
Speaking of the Boulevard Members Club, the one-of-a-kind space in the northeast corner of the stadium opens to ALL ticket holders at 5:30 p.m. tonight. There's 27 television screens and yes, the KU-Villanova game will be shown along with other NCAA Tournament action.
Parking will be available at Kansas Speedway and lots open at 4:30 p.m. In addition to the Boulevard Members Club, the Sprint Plaza also opens to all ticket holders at 5:30 p.m. The futsal court will be available for kids to showcase their skills and Swope Park Rangers car magnets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the SPR guest services table -- which will also be conducting a free raffle to give fans an opportunity to win a Swope Park Rangers scarf.
NEWS AND NOTES