First of all, does "FC Barcelona vs. MLS All-Stars in the brand new Sporting Kansas City stadium" get anyone else as excited as it does me? I would surely think so.
According to Steve Davis of Daily Soccer Fix, (also of Sports Illustrated fame, so anything he says, chances are it's legit) previously reported (independent of each other) rumors of Barcelona being the MLS All-Star game opponent and Sporting KC's new stadium being the host site. It seems that those rumors are picking up steam once again, and seem to be morphing into some sort of mega-rumor for the Kansas City club.
It was back during MLS Cup in November 2010 that each rumor, once again independent of each other, began to surface. I'll leave the details to Steve and share my own personal excitement below.
The eye-catcher to that piece was that Kansas City’s glistening new stadium (it will glisten, I assure you) was the surprise lead candidate to host the match. But there was a catch. An MLS All-Star game in Kansas City only made financial sense if domestic soccer deciders and promoters could partner the game with other stops for Barca. See, the cost to bring Barcelona for a one-stop pop would approach $2 million.They might be able to recoup the costs in Kansas City’s smaller grounds – but only by charging $100 a ticket or so. That’s bad PR waiting to happen. And the match might not even sell out at that cost.
Basically, it seems as if the Catalan giants will embark upon a sort of tour this summer, much like Manchester United did in 2010, which also saw the world power club come to Kansas City. Barca-Man United in Washington D.C. July 30, Barca-AC Milan in Miami August 3 and Club America (Mexico) August 6 in Arlington, TX.
Perhaps the coolest thing about a rumor like this is that, at long last, Kansas City is finally a part of speculation on a big time national level. It's amazing the kind of publicity dropping a cool couple hundred-mil on a brand new stadium will get you. Now, someone simply searching "FC Barcelona" on Google might happen to see our fair little club's name when they otherwise never would have.
It is unknown whether the potential All-Star game played in the team's new stadium would be a part of the 20 game 2011 season ticket package. To this point, we know that there are 17 league games included, the confirmed Chivas Guadelajara friendly as part of the Omar Bravo signing and the Gold Cup doubleheader (which will count as one ticket) will be included in the deal. If you're going to guarantee a 20th game, this sure would be one hell of a cracker to top off what promises to be an exciting, if nothing else, year of soccer in Kansas City.
I've been previously accused of "sipping the Sporting KC front office Kool-Aid," but when the organization puts together something like this, on the back of a brand new stadium and a friendly against Manchester United and saying all the right things about where the club is headed, how can one not be a little excited going forward?
The Sporting Kansas City team offices were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so the team could not be contacted for an official statement. I hope to have something of the sort on Tuesday.
Until then, what does everyone think? Would you, like I, be willing to pay for a seperate game ticket for an event in our stadium like this?