Robb Heineman was on Reddit today to have an AMA (Ask Me Anything). During the interview he gave some pretty candid answers to some questions and obviously had a bit of fun as well (including giving a date for the installation of the Sporting Blue turf).
Here are some of the highlights and some commentary.
Expansion of Sporting Park.
Heineman said that there is currently no time table for expansion of Sporting Park, and that demand for tickets in 2015 will help dictate when they'll look into expanding the stadium. When asked further questions regarding expansion of the stadium, Heineman responded that expansion would see about 8,000. Most of them would be in the East Stand but a couple thousand he said would be above the Cauldron.
In regards to Sporting Park he was also was asked about when the team would look to move the team into downtown KC instead of out at the Legends. Heineman's response was 21 more years out at Sporting Park.
US Soccer Training Facility
Heineman was asked about this development and where they were in the process. Heineman responded by saying that the site selection should be done in the next 90 days and that construction to begin in the spring. In conjunction with that question, Heineman was asked about the Hall of Fame. He responded that they are interested in it but have not been approached.
US Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League
Heineman was asked a couple questions regarding some competitions outside of league play, the Open Cup and the CCL. He was asked what would be the best way to elevate the US Open Cup. Heineman's response was more prize money for the players (currently it's about $100,000 split between the players.
He was also asked about the CCL and it's priority. Heineman responded that it was a huge priority and then gave an example saying that Peter Vermes' incentive bonus for the CCL is the same as it is for winning MLS Cup. So either Sporting is placing a lot of priority on the CCL, or Vermes doesn't get a big bonus for winning MLS Cup.
Heineman was asked about the USLPro and Sporting KC's affiliate, Orlando City. Questions about his feeling on the partnership and how some Orlando fans aren't happy with a lot of the flipping of players. Heineman avoided that part of the question, stating how much he liked the partnership and how each guy that has gone has gotten better.
He was also asked whether KC would look to set up their own USLPro team. Heineman responded that they were likely too if/when Orlando enters MLS and that the team would likely be within 200 miles of KC. When asked further his response was that Omaha, Des Moines, and the KC metro were the favorites. Omaha doesn't currently have minor league soccer but has a very nice stadium at Creighton, Morrison Stadium. Des Moines has one of the most successful PDL franchises, especially at the gate, but they don't have a stadium, currently playing on a high school football field. The KC metro would be an interesting idea, maybe putting a team up north, or out east to try to drive interest on that side of town without forcing fans across town to Sporting Park.
Heineman was asked a number of questions about player acquisition related questions, many related to designated players and the types Sporting would look at. Heineman said if they'd add a DP this season it'd be a number 10. He also stated their lack of interest in Ronaldinho and how they were looking more on the 27 or younger scale. When asked about Jermaine Jones and his interest in MLS, Heineman said they weren't interested.
The part I found more interesting and not surprising based on his tweets was his response to the question about what the hardest part was about signing foreign players. The toughest part according to Heineman is dealing with agents and various "card" owners of players. It certainly seems to fit with many of the things we've heard over the last few years in regards to player signings, especially summer signings.
Overall plenty of good information in the AMA.