MLS Business: December opening set for KC complex

Construction of a sports complex designed to be shared by Sporting Kansas City and U.S. Soccer is ahead of schedule and projected to be completed before the end of the year.

The 80,000 square-foot National Training and Coaching Development Center will serve as the headquarters for Sporting Kansas City, which is currently based at Swope Soccer Village, as well as the coaching and education center for U.S. Soccer. Once the facility is completed, the Swope Park Rangers USL team and SKC’s five academy teams will stay at their current location.

Five professional soccer fields and a 12,500-square-foot gym connected to a sports medicine and rehabilitation clinic affiliated with Children’s Mercy Hospital will be included, as well as classrooms, conference rooms, and a cafeteria. Construction started in July and the estimated cost is approximately $80 million. 

“A long, long time in the making,” said SKC vice-president of development David Ficklin, who gave media members a tour of the facility on Tuesday, to the Kansas City Star. “You can finally start to see and envision what we’ve been planning for a really long time.”

Plans were first drawn up for a facility five years ago, one year after SKC moved into its own stadium – then named Livestrong Sporting Park – on the Kansas side of the city. The team is riding a run of 87 straight sellouts and considering an expansion of Children’s Mercy Park from its current capacity of 18,500.

Locker rooms will be reserved for U.S. national teams and their coaches, as well as coaches visiting for classes, sessions, and seminars. Sporting Kansas City players and coaches will have their own locker room and training rooms. A nearby complex of 12 youth fields is scheduled to be ready in the fall. 

“We asked the three properties — U.S. Soccer, Sporting Kansas City and Children’s Mercy — what they would want in an ideal complex,” Ficklin said. “This is the product of all of those things in one place.”

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