Monday, January 12, 2015

FCKC Home Opener Announced, but Date/Location TBD

The NWSL today announced that home openers for their nine franchises heading into their third season of play this year. It's an important season for the league as the prior two women's professional leagues in the US, the WUSA and the WPS lasted just three seasons each. So the NWSL will look to stop that trend this year.

The Blues will begin their title defense at home the first weekend against Sky Blue FC. The schedule does not give an exact date of the game though, just that it will be week 1, which will be the weekend of April 10th through the 12th. The other unknown is where the game will be played. That too on the schedule is listed as TBD. Could FCKC be looking for a new home venue after playing at Durwood Stadium on UMKC's campus last year?

After finishing second in the league in attendance in 2013 with 4,626 while playing at the Shawnee Mission District Athletic site at Shawnee Mission North, the Blues moved to Durwood Stadium in 2014 and saw their attendance more than cut in half, falling to the second lowest in the league at 2,018 during the regular season.

So where will FCKC play in 2015? The team signed a two year agreement to play at Durwood last year ahead of the 2014 season, but they certainly can't be happy with the nose dive that attendance took. Does the team look to move out to the Kansas suburbs, which would likely mean a return to a field with football lines painted on? Does the team try to find a way to play at the Soccer Village at Swope Park on the Championship field there? Or do they try to work out a deal with Sporting KC to utilize Sporting Park in the 2015 season? The final option is the only one of the options I listed that would include a natural grass surface for the Blues to play on. It would also give FCKC the opportunity to sell alcohol on site.
Of course this could just be the team looking for a way to get the home opener at somewhere like Sporting Park. SKC is actually at home on the 11th against Real Salt Lake so the potential for a double header that day could exist if a deal could be worked out.

I know originally I'd thought the idea of a double header with FC Kansas City and Sporting KC would be a good idea as a one off, but it'd be a question of whether Sporting would want to allow more games on a field that over the past few years has not stood up that well (although last year saw an improvement after the surface change).
Whatever is happening, the fact that the home location is currently TDB is an interesting one.

Not only do we know the Blues' first game, but we also know their first away game of the season as the Blues will be the opponent for the Washington Spirit in their home opener on April 18th.

1 comment:

mouf said...

attendance is interesting as many soccer opinions I value in KC were championing the UMKC move