Sporting Kansas City Media Day Recap

On Tuesday, Sporting Kansas City held their annual media day. New announcements were made about new stadium improvements including lighting, video, and security. Media members were also able to talk to Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes and the entire SKC roster. Here’s what happened.

Jake Reid, Sporting Kansas City President and CEO, began by talking about some improvements made in the off-season to Children’s Mercy Park and answered a few questions from media members. “Daktronics was a great partner“ Reid said Tuesday. “The south board got re-done this off-season, it is a significant difference.” “I think a lot of these things you are going to hear me talk today about are geared toward the experience. You guys are familiar with us at this point and you know that fan experience and kind of that game day environment is really what we’ve traded off from day one when we opened Children’s Mercy Park in 2011”

Reid also touched on new lighting throughout Children’s Mercy Park making it a more “state-of-the-art”. It is worthy to note that these light will not be ready by Saturday but should be up and ready by April.

Sporting Kansas City

Children’s Mercy Park has also introduced some new menu items.

  • Carnitas Tacos – Served as a set of three tacos featuring Kansas City-based Yoli Blue Corn Tortillas, pork carnitas, diced onions and cilantro and topped with salsa roja.
  • Junk Yard Dog – Fans can enjoy a five-inch beef hot dog, doused with Coney chili and topped with crushed kettle chips.
  • Expanded & Updated Menu in Huhtamaki Shield Club – Highlighted by Children’s Mercy Park’s featured chicken wings with a choice of Buffalo, spicy honey garlic, BBQ or dry rub, various new food options will be available in the Huhtamaki Shield Club – Sporting’s largest and most accessible premium space.
  • Dotte Dogs – A brand-new concessions initiative sees “Dotte Dogs” available throughout Children’s Mercy Park via a portable cart. Featuring foot-long hot dogs and chili cheese dogs, this concept pays homage to Wyandotte County and its significance and history to the people of Kansas City.

Sporting is set to unveil a self-pouring drink command system allowing fans to skip the lines and pour their own 16-ounce and 24-ounce beers. The system will be introduced with a location in the Huhtamaki Shield Club and a location inside the Budweiser Brew House.

Media were able to try these new menu items today and my favorite was the Carnitas Tacos, it tasted like I was in Mexico, very authentic.

Jake talked about Kansas Football playing at Children’s Mercy Park this fall and here is what he had to say. “We’ve always had a great relationship.” “Football is nothing new to us, operationally. The biggest concern was football lines on the field.” “I think showcasing, you know, football here will be a different experience, but I think it will be a lot of fun, so we are excited about that”

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I spoke with Forward Johnny Russell and here are some things he had to say about possibly playing Leonel Messi. “Greatest player that’s ever lived” said Russell on Tuesday. “The way he plays the game, he’s just different.” Sporting and Inter Miami are scheduled to play on April 13 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs. Jake Reid said today that he expects for it to sell out as its well on its way to, with over 60,000 seats already sold of the possible “north of 70,000” Reid said. With a sellout, SKC vs MIA will be “the largest crowd in the state of Missouri for soccer.” I also asked Johnny about team rituals on and off the field that may go unnoticed by fans. “We started playing a young v. old the day before training” Russell said. “10 v. 10 the day before, which is, a lot of fun” “the old guys, we’ve took the lead this year, we went 1-0 up, so, we look to continue that.”

I also attended SKC practice this morning. Everything looked good. The only things were, Johnny Russell was not a participant, only coming out of the locker room to jog around the field at Compass Minerals National Performance Center and talking to Manager Peter Vermes for a good 10 minutes. Midfielder Ozzie Cisneros was jogging of to the side of the field for the duration of practice.

Sporting Kansas City will face off against the Philadelphia Union this Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park at 7:30p (kickoff 7:39p). You can catch the action free on MLS Season Pass, as well as at Children’s Mercy Park.

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