Two years ago this morning, Kansas City Wizards president Robb Heineman took a scoop of dirt out of a cold and wet square patch of land in front of Nebraska Furniture Mart.
Today, that frozen square patch of land is home to Livestrong Sporting Park and Sporting Kansas City.*
*I don't know about you, but that feels like about six years ago -- not two. (That might be because 2011 seemed to last about three years on its own.)
Not many of the handful of people witnessing the ground breaking ceremony that morning could've seen exactly what was to come over the next two years.
We don't often get nostalgic here at The Full 90, but this is probably an anniversary worth remembering. It not only changed where Sporting Kansas City plays 17-20 games per year, it changed how those 17-20 games
the team are perceived in Kansas City.
Before Livestrong Sporting Park, the "Wizards" were an afterthought in the sporting landscape in KC. Last year, KC averaged over 17,000 fans a game and became the hottest ticket in town for a few months.
Coming up this year, KC will host the CONCACAF Olympic finals, 17 MLS games, a U.S. Open Cup game or two, are thought to be in the running for a future MLS All-Star game and should be on the short-list for World Cup qualifiers.
Most two year olds are still trying to master the art of walking. Sporting Kansas City and Livestrong are already nearing a full run.
It started as this:
Then it was this:
Then it looked like this:
Then, of course, this:
Oh, speaking of anniversaries... today is also the third anniversary of the beginning of this here blog. On a much smaller scale, ground was broken for this site to exist later in the afternoon two years ago.
We'll officially turn three years old on March 17. Which, you know, just so happens to be the home opener of Livestrong Sporting Park.
Some things appear to have meant to be.