Had the privilege of attending Saturday’s Sporting KC game with one of the owners, Patrick Curran, and got some insight into why they are undefeated and the BEST professional team in Kansas City.
“Sporting starts and ends with the fans” Curran says.
And after touring the facility, I agree.
More money was spent per seat at Livestrong Sporting Park than Dallas’ Cowboys Stadium and it shows. This fan-centered philosophy of the ownership is what sets Livestrong apart from say, Arrowhead.
How does Sporting take care of the “average” fan?
Anyone can go to sportingmembership.com, fill out a small form and be eligible for a FREE ticket to for up to three matches a year! They even built a private club for members with a great bar area and after parties following the games. Concessions are also reasonably priced throughout the Park.
And “high roller” fans willing to shell out $250 per match for Field Club tickets- which are sold out for the season- get taken care of in a way Chiefs fans paying a similar price can only dream of.
For example, there’s a sit down dining area with real food.
Saturday it featured salmon, fettucini, hummus as well as the more traditional stadium treats like nachos and brats. There’s also an open bar all included in the ticket price, and you get to see the players take the field and watch post game interviews.
What do you get at Arrowhead for that price? Not much.
You still get the privilege of paying nine bucks for a 12 ounce beer. Which was OK during the “King Carl” Peterson era when the Chiefs were exciting and contenders year after year. Before the mediocre, $24 million under-the-salary-cap team we’ve got now.
And don’t even get me started on the Royals.
However I don’t hold their management as responsible as the Chiefs. That’s because until there is true revenue sharing and a hard salary cap, small market teams like the Royals – unless they’re blessed with another owner like Ewing Kaufman – will continue to be little more than farm clubs for the Yankees and Red Soxes of the league.
Can you imagine how good the Royals would be if we could afford to KEEP the players brought up through their system?
Of course, the 800 pound gorilla in the room for the Royals, Chiefs and Sporting is where their owner’s live.
Everyone who owns Sporting lives in the Kansas City area and were at the game Saturday night. The owners of the Chiefs and Royals don’t live here, are not a part of the Community and I think that matters.
Curran added at the end of a match leaving Sporting with the best record in the league at 6-0; “This is the team we wanted to bring to Kansas City, a team the fans can be proud of.”
Judging by the fan intensity throughout the game, I say, Mission Accomplished!