MLS Sporting KC's Livestrong Sporting Park Boosts Intimate Atmosphere
MLS Sporting KC "opens its $200 million, state-of-the-art" Livestrong Sporting Park against the Fire on June 9, and “one word -- intimate -- best describes the stadium, designed by Populous and built by Turner Construction,” according to Randy Covitz of the K.C. STAR. The distance to the field from the first row of the north end zone bleachers and from the first row of east-side grandstands is 16 feet, and the “farthest any fan will be from the field is 103 feet, or one-third the length of a soccer pitch.” The stadium, which seats 18,467 for soccer and 25,000 for concerts, “includes 35 suites and five club levels, including one bleacher section -- the 2,000-seat Members Club.” Fans in the Members Club “can retreat to their own area for food and drink.” The 2,000-square-foot area will “include its own soccer sports bar that will be open not only on game day, but also daily for fans to watch international and MLS matches on the 23 flat-screen TVs.” Three hundred HDTVs “will be scattered around the facility.” Sporting KC officials said that the club “has sold about 10,000 season tickets and will cut off sales at about 16,000, leaving around 2,000 tickets available on a single-game basis.” The stadium was built “with the ability to expand and add a second deck to the south end and east stands for a capacity of 25,000.” The additional seating “would come in handy for international matches.” Covitz noted one “possible stadium component is the National Soccer Hall of Fame,” which “closed its doors in Oneonta, N.Y., and is looking for a new site.” Sporting KC VP/Development David Ficklin said the club has “had ‘lots of conversations’ about having the shrine as part of the new stadium and is awaiting clarification on what memorabilia and assets might be available” (K.C. STAR, 4/3).