For starters, you’d best not smoke – unless you find yourself on the roof of the owners box (more on that later)…
With more than 11,000 season tickets sold – versus 3,000 and change last year – there’ll be lots of fresh faces soaking up soccer and sun in KCK this summer. But given the sorry state of the team’s play, they’re going to need to find something to do.
I mean, besides watching soccer.
Not a problem. You can shop. The Wi Fi at Livestrong Sporting Park is top notch, so be sure not to forget to bring your smart phone. There are concerts with local bands before the games (don’t miss the Beautiful Bodies in October).The restrooms are garnished with his and her soccer silhouettes
Sporting Club is also a founding partner with TheCoolTV multicast television network out of Lawrence. It will provide attendees who sign up (for free) as members "unique opportunities to access exclusive music content and events."
So there’s that.
Now let’s take a look at what fans will be finding as they seek to get away from the lackluster play on the pitch.
"You can’t smoke out here, sir," shouted a SKC staffer several yards outside of the entry portal to the stadium. "No sir, you have to go across the street to smoke. They don’t want you smoking on the property."
Thanks to the LiveStrong anti-cancer Smoking Nazi’s, you can get busted for smoking 20 yards or more away from even entering the general stadium grounds. Unless it would appear you’re living large atop the owner’s suit overlooking the field.
"They were all up on the roof over the owner’s box before the game before the starting lineups were announced smoking cigars," says one media observer at the game. "But they said there would be no smoking anywhere on the property when they made the LiveStrong announcement."
Let’s talk concessions. Which while interesting are far from cheap – I mean, inexpensive.
Sixteen ounce (plastic) bottled domestic beer, for example, goes for $7.75 per. That’s about six times what you’d expect to pay at local retail outlets.
"You can get a six pack of Bud Light or Miller Light or Coors – any of the three domestic beers for less than $8," says Jen at K-7 Liquors in Shawnee. And a 12-pack of Moosehead at Gomer’s goes for not much more ($9.98).
A giant bag of peanuts at $4 seems reasonable. As does the $4 cotton candy and snow cones.
However $4.50 for bottled water – the same price as Gatorade – and "regular soda" at $5 seems pricey.
Burgers go for six bucks, chicken tender baskets $8, hot dogs $4.50, bratwurst $5, chips $2 and "bottomless" popcorn $8. A "cheese cup" to dip your pretzels in is priced at a buck. Dippin’ Dots $5. A pair of pork tacos $6 and that bacon-wrapped hot dog (all aboard for KC’s next appearance in the "fattest cities" poll) goes for $8.75.
Mixed drinks – two per person max – are $8.25 each and stop, along with beer sales, at the 80th minute or before at the descretion of management (in other words depending upon if pissed off "Cauldron" fans are peppering the field with trash like last night).
"Oven fresh pizzas" – Minsky‘s to be specific go from $5 for cheese to $6 for pepperoni to $7 for a "Papa Minsky." A garden salad chaser will set you back five buckers.
A half slab of "Smokehouse Ribs" runs $10, with pulled pork and beef brisket sandwiches @ $6.50 per and $2 for beans and/or slaw. BBQ nachos – whatever they are – are priced at $7.50. And, stop the presses, a refreshing cup of hot chocolate costs $2.50.
But all of that hardly constitutes shopping, does it?
When it comes to gear, SKC has it way better covered than the Wizards of yesteryear.
Every imaginable article of clothing short of thong underwear (did I miss something?) is there for the asking. As are "car flags," wall clocks and even trash cans! yes, trash cans. The only thing missing were the pricetags.
So how much exactly for the SKC trash cans?
"I think they’re about $20," said the third SKC store staffer I asked, having radioed unsuccessfully for confirmation. "If I remember correctly."