Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City ‘would love to expand’ Children’s Mercy Park

Fireworks erupt at the end of the National Anthem on Sept. 9, 2016 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
Fireworks erupt at the end of the National Anthem on Sept. 9, 2016 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. jsleezer@kcstar.com

Children’s Mercy Park will stay as is.

For now.

Sporting Kansas City president Jake Reid reiterated Tuesday that while the club has looked into potentially adding seats to its home stadium, the demand for season tickets has not yet necessitated rolling those options into action.

“We would love to expand,” Reid said. “I think we’ve got to get the waiting list up to a point where we feel like we could sustain the demand for it.”

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According to the team, Sporting KC has approximately 4,500 people on its season ticket waiting list for Children’s Mercy Park, which has been home to 87 consecutive MLS sellouts. As of now, Reid said that number would need to grow to nearly 10,000 before a true expansion plan would be considered.

The reasoning: A full stadium. The Sporting KC front office believes the lack of empty seats inside the park makes for a more intimidating and scenic atmosphere on gamedays. It also preserves the demand for tickets. In other words, an option in which the club adds 5,000 seats but only sells 2,000 of them isn’t an attractive one.

Children’s Mercy Park currently holds about 18,500 people plus standing room only tickets.

But there are options already in place for expansion. When the venue was built in 2011, it was structured to later include a possibility to add 8,000 seats to the east stands via a second deck. A rough estimate of that project sits at $40 million, Reid said.

Sporting KC has also researched adding seats elsewhere to the stadium, including the north stands.

“We’ve looked at adding seats in a variety of locations, including expanding the Cauldron, but that option wasn’t financially feasible in terms of being worth how much it would cost us,” Reid said.

Construction of the National Training and Coaching Development Center is ahead of schedule due to a mild winter. It will be the new training facility for Sporting Kansas City, a coaching education center for U.S. Soccer and a sports medicine and r

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