Wednesday, February 06, 2013

FC Kansas City to Play at Shawnee Mission North

FC Kansas City today announced their home venue for this season.  The Blues announced that their home games will be played at the Shawnee Mission District Stadium at Shawnee Mission North High School.  The stadium seats 6,150 people, which makes it the 3rd largest stadium in the league behind Jeld-Wen (20,438) and Sahlen's Stadium (13,768).

This won't be the first time a professional soccer team will play at the stadium, Sporting KC, then the Kansas City Wizards, hosted the Colorado Rapids there in a US Open Cup qualifier in 2008.

Overall I think this is a good move for FCKC in many regards.  I think the stadium as it is right now is probably a good size for the team, last night they'd said they'd sold 20% of it already, which is about 1,200 seats.  And then this morning in about 2 hours after season tickets went on sale, they had sold 200.

As I mentioned last night, two other potential locations were UMKC and Sporting Park.  UMKC would have required a lot of extra seating being added as the stadium currently only holds around 1,000, while I think Sporting Park would have been too big for the team at this time.  That's not to say that should the team be successful in their current venue they can't move, but at this time, I think 6,000 or so seats is a good start to create demand.

Also today, the team announced their season ticket packages with 3 different groups.  The highest of which costs $225, the cheapest is $135.  That would get you tickets to all 11 regular season games.  The team also made mention of one exhibition game with the date and time still to be announced.

One concern for many people that were looking at tickets was the potential conflict with Sporting KC.  The good news is that the team has confirmed that none of their games will conflict with Sporting KC home games.  This was a key that I had originally talked about regarding the team.  They don't want to be seen as competing with Sporting KC, cause I don't really think they can win that battle at this time.  Avoiding conflicts at least when Sporting is at home is a smart move. When Sporting is on the road they'll take their chances with winning the battle since people may be more interested in a live game.  The only potential conflict would be if KC hosts the league final in August.

There are a few draw backs to the stadium situation though.  The first is the perception of major league.  Playing in a high school stadium doesn't show you to be a major league team on the surface, so FCKC is going to have to overcome that stigma.  That perception includes things like alcohol sales which I can't see being sold at a high school stadium.  That's something that I'm sure the team will work to over come.

Overall, I think this is a good move for FCKC and gives them a start at being successful.

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