Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Houston Dynamo 0 at Sporting KC 0 (MLS) - October 15, 2017

When I first booked this weekend trip to Kansas City, the Steelers at Chiefs game was the primary attraction. But after checking the MLS schedule, I saw that I could do Sporting KC instead and add another venue to my list at a fraction of the cost.

SKC is the only major league team in Kansas as they play in Children's Mercy Park, about 15 miles west of downtown KCMO. The naming rights are owned by a local hospital, which bought them in 2016. There are several large parking lots, with those that are for Season Ticket Members (STMs) much closer. The general lots are quite far away, and I had to walk about 10 minutes to get to the main entrance. The advantage of this is that after the game, you can get out to the highway fairly quickly, as each lot seems to have its own path directly to the main road out.

There is a large mall just north of the venue with several restaurants and bars, but I did not have time to visit it, having arrived just an hour before the game. I picked up a ticket on the secondary market (SeatGeek is the official reseller) and had no trouble entering the ground. Inside the main entrance, I found an interesting display listing all of the affiliated Sporting clubs around the Midwest. Great to see the team reaching out to places as far flung as Nashville and Arkansas.

I wandered around the concourse, taking pictures from each angle. Below is the south end zone, above which is one of the two scoreboards.

Across the way is the east sideline, with Sporting spelled out. My seat was on the left side of the P, though I chose to stand for most of the match.

Below is the view from the south end, which provides the best look at the unique roof. It is connected from start to finish but slowly descends as you move around the stadium, so that the end above the north end zone is several feet lower than the beginning.

The west sideline is where you will find the suites.

The main supporters section is in the north end zone and limited to members only. They call it Blue Hell, and that seems to be accurate as the team has lost only once in their 17 home games, drawing 6 others (including this one).

One thing that I appreciated was that the club's 2017 US Open Cup was already commemorated on their wall of honour.

As I was working at this game, I did not do a full tour, and did not eat either. If I were to return, I would come a lot earlier and explore the Legends Outlet Mall and have a beer or two at one of the bars before going inside. I did enjoy my time here and appreciated the architecture of the venue. It is a very family friendly atmosphere, with many parents bringing infants to the match. The only problem is that many fans get up during the action, something that is more and more accepted at every sport, but should really be frowned upon in soccer, where goals are so rare.

As they were on this night, where the teams battled to a scoreless draw, allowing both to clinch playoff spots. 41 total shots (they count all attempts, including those blocked on the way to goal) but only 9 required a save. Sporting KC did have a glorious chance in the final minutes of stoppage time, but Houston keeper Tyler Deric made a great save to preserve the clean sheet. The two teams might meet in the knockout round, which should be a more spirited affair.

Next Up

My Club 123 trip of the fall is a tough one, with Vegas on Saturday night and the Chargers in LA on Sunday afternoon, all without missing work. Check back next week for the thrilling recaps.



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