Over the last 10 years, few professional sports franchises have experienced a more transformational journey than Sporting Kansas City. From Wizards to Sporting, from minor league baseball park to world-class soccer stadium, from MLS afterthought to perennial title contender, the 2010s ushered in a Kansas City soccer renaissance as Sporting enjoyed a meteoric rise both on and off the pitch.
Throughout this decade of success, everyone tied to the club—from players and coaches to owners and fans—made priceless memories that will last a lifetime. As the 2010s come to a close, SportingKC.com is counting down the top 20 moments of the decade. The daily series will run from Dec. 12-31, looking back on the biggest matches, announcements and off-the-field developments that left lasting impacts on the club. The top 20 list was determined through voting among front office associates at Sporting. Click here to visit the top 20 as it unfolds.
For several years, Sporting Manager Peter Vermes had visions in his mind of how the club’s new training grounds would look. The Sporting Club ownership group jumped into the planning phases of said venue back in 2012, aiming to build one of the best athletic training facilities on the planet.
It was an ambitious project, to be sure, but when the building and its surrounding fields were finally completed, Vermes was nevertheless blown away.
“You see the blueprints and the renderings and you have a vision, but seeing it and walking in here, it’s still hard to believe,” Vermes told the Kansas City Star on Feb. 5, 2018. “I’m still amazed every time I walk in here.”
Located a mile from Children’s Mercy Park and Wyandotte Sporting Fields in Kansas City, Kansas, Pinnacle officially opened in early February 2018 when Sporting trained at the $75-million, world-class venue for the first time.
Formerly unveiled as the National Training and Coaching Development Center, Pinnacle is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a professional sports team (Sporting), a national sports federation (U.S. Soccer) and a sports medicine provider (Children’s Mercy). The state-of-the-art complex has welcomed thousands of visitors since opening and will continue to do so for years to come as a premier destination for the development of elite players, coaches and referees of all ages.
What makes Pinnacle truly special is its details: cameras surrounding the three-field “super pitch” with audio and visual capabilities, ventilated lockers, check-in fobs for players that alert them to daily responsibilities, a stunning trophy wall and much more.
“As you can see, no stone has been left unturned,” Sporting defender Graham Zusi said at the time. “They thought of everything.”