Kansas City, Kansas approves national center for soccer

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Plans for a new national education and training soccer center in Kansas City, Kansas, have scored a goal.

The city’s Unified Government Board of Commissioners on Thursday gave final approval for construction of the center, with plans for it to be the home base for U.S. Soccer and its national teams.

The Kansas City Star reports the $62 million center will be built on 174 acres neighboring Schlitterbahn water park. The 100,000-sqaure-foot center will include sports medicine and nutrition labs, training facilities and education spaces for coaches. There will also be at least one climate-controlled indoor field.

“It’s a project that we’ve worked on for maybe three years now. To finally get it to conclusion is a huge deal,” said Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman.

Heineman says U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann and federation president Sunil Gulati both gave input on the center, which will be located less than 10 minutes from Sporting Kansas City’s stadium, Sporting Park.

“I think they will be here a lot,” Heineman said. “I think we’ll have national team coaches here probably 300 days per year. As far as the national teams go, at the end of the day, the coaches have that decision, but I think when we’re able to show this facility for what it is, it will be a no-brainer for them.”

U.S. Soccer has already signed a 20-year lease to be the primary tenant of the center.

The center will be funded mostly by sales tax revenue bonds. It is expected to be completed sometime in 2017.

The center’s construction will he Sporting Kansas City fulfill its obligation to build three youth soccer fields as part of its agreement to receive $230 million in state and local tax subsidies to build Sporting Park.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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