Previously, onThe Full 90’s countdown of the year’s finest soccer moments
: Sporting Kansas City had at least two offensive outbursts in 2010 Two new players at very different places in their career, join SKC A nation and a city of soccer-lovers sees a World Cup pipe dream blow up live on ESPN.And previously to the previous installment
: Kei Kamara missed a stunning sitter that served as a metaphor for the team’s early swoon, five KC metro ladies hoisted the NCAA Women’s soccer national championship and “hot winter nights” returned to
We’re almost to the home stretch on our countdown, so, let’s not waste any time.
4. So long Wizards, it’s Sporting now
It was, truly, one of the worst-kept secrets in Kansas City. “Wizards,” a name that had served Kansas City’s soccer team for 15 years, was getting the heave-ho. In its place, “Sporting.” Well, not technically “in its place,” as the nickname now comes before “Kansas City.”
As I joked at the time, the team is now America’s first “gerund-based” sports franchise.
The change, announced at a fairly packed Power Light District on a fairly dreary November weeknight to a fairly decent crowd, has been met with a wide-range of reactions. There is still a great deal of speculation (and mockery) to go along with many of the fans who have moved on (and purchased new gear).
But the team did more than just change their name. The colors are new (and nicer), the badge is new (and much more modern) and the concept surrounding the entire organization is fairly new as well (in American at least).
If the organization succeeds in its ultimate goal, turning themselves into a “sporting organization” that brings Kansas City much more than just a single soccer team, this name change was only the tip of a very large iceberg.
If what I just typed above doesn’t happen, mockery and regret will probably abound.
Either way, it’s nearly impossible to completely judge the change right now. Give it a few years.
3. Finally... a stadium all their own
They’ve played on high school fields. College stadiums. Cavernous Arrowhead. Cozy CommunityAmerica. Now, Sporting Kansas City will have their own brand-spanking-new, state-of-the-art stadium to call their own.
This has been, without a doubt, the most important off-the-field development this year. Possibly in the team’s history. If you’re a fan and you haven’t developed goosebumps when driving out to The Legends, then you probably aren’t really fan.
Speaking as someone who has been from the roof to the basement, this will be an impressive stadium. The organization have spent countless hours with Populous and the construction crews to bring the latest, greatest innovations possible to the stadium (many of these will finally be detailed once major structural construction has ended).
Everything in the stadium has been designed to focus attention onto the field; there won’t be a bad seat in the house (all seats square to the field, so you won’t be turning your head to see anything) and the roof will help keep in the sound made by the fans.
The stadium will have a two-part opening ceremony: On Thursday, June 9, Sporting KC will take on the Chicago Fire in an MLS league game and Tuesday, June 14, the city will host a Gold Cup double-header (teams to be announced).
Expectations are, to say the least, very high.
If you haven’t tried it,the virtual tour is a must
Up next: A goal that sent thousands into hysteria and a game that shattered the belief that KC couldn’t be a “soccer town.”