As reported here about a month ago ("SKC Ticket Sales Booming; USMNT coming to KC?" – Jan. 17), the US Men’s National Team appears poised to play a Gold Cup game in KC on June 14th at Sporting Park (more on the stadium name later).
While the official Gold Cup schedule hasn’t yet been announced, recently several other local media outlets have been picking up on this development, including the Kansas City Star’s Charles Gooch. With all the chatter going around it seems more and more likely that Robb Heineman‘s comment to MLSSoccer.com’s Andrew Wiebe really was a cat-out-of-the-bag moment.
Remember? Back in January Heinemann said of the Gold Cup:
"Our intent is to have that be a high-flying event … We want to make sure the Gold Cup and when the national team is here, if they end up being here, that we are running full throttle."
Smooth, Robb. Real smooth.
In other SKC news, Heineman recently announced the concept of becoming a "member" of Sporting KC. First off, it’s free. All you have to do is provide SKC with some "simple profile information" to sign up. What’s included in "simple profile information"? Not quite sure yet.
So what do you get?
Well, all that’s listed below, and I will break that down a bit in the near future.
But the one thing that really stood out to me about the announcement is how many times the phrase "Sporting Park" is used. By the sheer volume it made me wonder whether a naming rights sponsor is really on the way or not. Plus, if we are sticking with the "Sporting Park" name, even if a sponsor eventually ponies up, how is that going to work? Sprint Sporting Park? Sprint Field at Sporting Park? Seems like no matter who signs on, the whole Sporting Park thing would have to go.
While we’re on the topic of corporate sponsors, let me touch on the potential of a kit sponsorship. How sweet would it be to see the Boulevard logo on the front of SKC’s jerseys? Not only would it look great, but it would fit right in with the Sporting ownership group’s alleged commitment to the KC area. (Remember, their new crest contains an image of the state line). Plus, it would be a big big swing from Boulevard in their attempt to go from a Midwest brand to a national brand. C’mon Boulevard, I’m lookin’ at you! It’ll be worth it!
From the SKC announcement:
• The first tangible benefit membership will offer is the opportunity for complimentary tickets to road matches. Initially, we’ll buy 50 per match with the hopes of there being a much higher demand – it would be great if we had that many members interested in traveling to support our club. Due to close proximity, as well as the strong desire to provide as much support for the team as possible during the season-opening road trip, we are purchasing up to 300 tickets for the Chicago Fire match on March 26.
• When Sporting Park opens, members will have the opportunity to check-in and receive complimentary access to the Members’ Section of the stadium for three (3) Sporting Kansas City matches per season. Season ticket holders in this section will receive additional complimentary vouchers to bring family or friends.
• Members may access the Sporting Park mobile app which will provide information and services for Sporting Club events.
• The overall experience at Sporting Park will be greatly enhanced by the membership program. For example, we will be able to remember your concession preferences and provide ordering through the mobile app. Affinity points will be redeemable for discounts at the stadium, and members will have the ability to actively participate and share their own content with other fans at the stadium.
• Members will have the opportunity to purchase Sporting Passes for kids under the age of 18. A Sporting Pass is $59.99 and provides entry to three matches in the South Stand (which may be chosen online in-advance), as well as access to any other matches on a complimentary basis in which there is availability in that section. Additionally, the Sporting Pass provides special offers on merchandise, discounted tickets purchased for family members and a commemorative credential to access Sporting Park.
• Members will have access to exclusive Sporting Kansas City content, as well as invitations to members-only ticket presales for concerts and special events at Sporting Park.
• The Membership Activation Lounge or “MAL” will allow you to purchase goods and services from our partners at discounts up to 80% off retail. By taking advantage of these offers, you will then have the opportunity to unlock new benefits and affinity rewards.
• Members may also purchase single-game tickets at a discount.