Thursday, June 11, 2015

#TBT The Renderings on the Way to Sporting Park

On Tuesday of this past week was the anniversary of the first game played at Sporting Park between Sporting KC and the Chicago Fire. In honor of that for this week's Throw Back Thursday I'm going to share some renderings of KC's stadium history that I either have gotten over the years, or that can be found online.

We'll start way back in 2006 and the attempts to get a stadium built down near 69 Highway and 159th Street in Overland Park. The stadium didn't get built because of the failure of Question 1 that November. The sunken stadium bowl had one roof that curved and wrapped around half the stadium.

From there came the Bannister site and the 3 Trails development that went on for a couple years getting as far as tearing down the old Bannister Mall and plenty of renderings of the stadium. The first kept a form of the curved roof, but on both sides of the stadium in this sky view of the stadium.

From there, the Bannister site changed as plans changed, and the new updated look of the stadium got rid of the curved roof and instead went with a more square look with what would best be described as an English stand .

 Along with the square look, we eventually got some more close up views of this design of the stadium, including the walk into the stadium and a much more neighborhood feel to the stadium, where you could walk right up to it. Almost like if the stadium had been built now at one end of the Legends, where you could walk through the Legends shopping area right up to the stadium. In the photos you also see the beginnings of the idea of a "Cauldron bar" for supporters to hang out in before and after the game.

Without the backing of the TIF money, bonds, and recession, the Bannister stadium plan ended up getting shelved as did the entire redevelopment there. Sporting worked out a deal with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County to utilize STAR Bonds that were used to build the Legends in the first place. With that came a permanent move to the Kansas side as the club had been playing at Community America Ballpark after leaving Arrowhead.

One of the first looks fans got of the new stadium designs was at a season ticket holder gathering in September of 2009 ahead of a friendly between Chivas Guadalajara and Club America at Arrowhead. Fans got to ask questions of KC staff at the gathering and a number of questions about the move away from Bannister. We also got some renderings and in them you can see the basic shape of the stadium really starting to come into place, although thankfully we didn't get the wavy roof.

That basic design would continue to evolve as the process continued to move forward. The next rendering really was close to the final result except for a few big things like the roof, and the absence of the Victory Suite in the northwest corner of the stadium.

The final design for the stadium except for minor changes came out in 2010. And it looks like the stadium we've come to love, minus the buildings in the Sprint Plaza.

There it is, one of the "crown jewels of American soccer."

Thankfully, the stadium itself helped us forget a rather forgetful game against the Chicago Fire, and this moment when Michael Kennedy introduced himself to a whole new set of KC fans after the performance in 2004.

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