Sporting Kansas City will honor the service and sacrifice of military service members and their families on Saturday, Aug. 10, when the club hosts the third annual Sporting Salutes at Children’s Mercy Park.
Held in partnership with Hallmark and military units from Kansas and Missouri including the Kansas National Guard and the U.S. Air Force’s 303rd Fighter Squadron, Sporting Salutes is an immersive military appreciation night recognizing past and present service personnel and their families across all branches of the United States Armed Forces. The event will run in conjunction with Sporting’s home match on Aug. 10 against rivals Real Salt Lake at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for the contest are available at SeatGeek.com.
This year, Sporting Salutes will welcome 12 Purple Heart recipients to Children’s Mercy Park, all of whom were wounded during wartime. The venerated Purple Heart has been awarded since 1917 and remains a timeless symbol of service to the country. The 12 Purple Heart recipients to be honored before kickoff include local servicemen and servicewomen who were wounded during combat operations spanning from the Korean War to the present. Their recognition on the field will come three days after National Purple Heart Day is celebrated across the nation on Aug. 7.
- Watch: Sporting Salutes honors Kansas and Missouri Gold Star families (2017)
- Watch: Sporting Salutes honors local World War II veterans (2018)
All supporters attending the highly anticipated match are invited to wear camo in support of military service members and their families. Upon entering through the stadium gates under camouflage netting, fans will have the opportunity to explore military vehicles stationed across the Toyota Plaza. In tandem with the Kansas National Guard and the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the Toyota Plaza will also showcase the vitally important medical capabilities of the U.S. military. Additionally, Hallmark’s activation area on the Plaza will include commemorative giveaways and a card signing station for fans to express their military thanks.
Fans in attendance can visit SportingStyle locations to purchase a variety of camo merchandise while supplies last, including the limited-edition Sporting Salutes Camo Training Top and Scarf of the Match. In addition to being available on matchday at Children’s Mercy Park, the new Sporting Salutes Camo Training Top and Scarf of the Match can be purchased through matchday pre-order at SportingStyle.com beginning next Monday, Aug. 5, at 8 a.m. CT. The training top will also go on sale at MLSstore.com this Thursday.
Sporting midfielder Benny Feilhaber models the Sporting Salutes Camo Training Top above, photographed at the iconic Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. The background features a sculpture called Glass Labyrinth, created by Kansas City native and heralded artist Robert Morris. The Camo Training Top is the club’s fifth special-edition jersey to be unveiled through photography at the Nelson-Atkins, following the release of the adidas Parley jersey, Retro Top, Pride Top and Americana Top earlier this year.
Sporting players will participate during warmups by wearing the new camo training tops donning the names of the 12 venerated Purple Heart recipients. Special guest Joe Everson will also serve as the National Anthem Singer. Everson, a renowned artist, has garnered widespread acclaim for singing while simultaneously painting stunning canvases. The National Anthem will be accompanied by a stadium flyover featuring aircrafts from Whiteman Air Force Base, and a halftime presentation will take place in partnership with Friends in Service of Heroes (F.I.S.H.).
With over 30,000 military veterans living in the Kansas City metropolitan area, the Sporting Salutes platform gives Sporting and its supporters the opportunity to express gratitude to those who have served the country. The inaugural Sporting Salutes in 2017 paid special tribute to local Kansas and Missouri Gold Star families — those who have lost an immediate family member serving in the armed forces of the United States. In 2018, Sporting Salutes recognized the heroic contributions of 18 local World War II veterans, 11 of whom were in attendance at Children’s Mercy Park.