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Sporting KC President Jake Reid: Stadium Expansion, Price Decreases, Fan Engagement

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SKC looks to continue improving the experience

Jake Reid speaking with media Tuesday
Thad Bell

Tuesday morning, Sporting Kansas City President Jake Reid spoke with the media following Sporting KC’s practice at Children’s Mercy Park. He discussed an array of topics like: Stadium Expansion, SeatGeek, menu price decreases, SkyCam’s future, along with elaborating on topics that have been recently discussed during Sporting KC’s Fan Forum on Feb. 9th.

Here are a few key points from his press conference:

Stadium Expansion

Children’s Mercy Park has been home to 87 consecutive MLS sellouts and may be a candidate for expansion in the future. However, Reid wishes the ticket wait list to reach a 10,000 ticket limit before any expansion plans can be executed.

“We would love to expand,“ Reid said. “I think we’ve got to get the waiting list up to a point where we feel like we could sustain the demand for it.“

The wait list currently is around 4,500 according to team sources.

The stadium currently holds 18,500 people plus standing room only. If the demand is reached, the needed foundations were included in the stadium’s original layout are in place and would likely add a second tier to the East stand with 8,000 seats.

Although, an expansion would be beneficial to the club and the fans, it also raised the concern of maintaining the same energetic atmosphere the club has today. “The atmosphere is our main concern and I do not see that changing,” Reid stated.

Fan Engagement

Reid announced that the club will lower prices on most menu items from 18-25% depending on the item. Like most decisions, this came from listening to feedback from the fans throughout last season and the offseason.

The club has always taken fan engagement seriously and continues to find new ways to engage with fans. Both Reid and CEO Robb Heineman are notorious for using twitter to engage with fans by answering questions and requesting suggestions. Reid also follows this same method.

“We always want the fans to feel like they’ve got a voice and that we’re listening,” Reid said. “The thing I always tell people is that we’re probably not going to implement everything but we at least hear you.“

Reid also noted how Children’s Mercy Park gives the club the advantage of evaluating trends, purchasing habits, and the ability to compile data to determine possible future changes.

SeatGeek

During the offseason, Sporting KC announced its new partnership with SeatGeek. SeatGeek is a new startup ticketing service designed to make it easier for supporters to access and manage tickets to games more directly.

“We feel this would give fans easier access, more flexibility with how they manage their tickets,“ Jake said. “We feel strongly this is going to redefine the industry of sports.“

Sporting KC is the first team to use the new startup. Reid stated the process has been running smoothly and will be monitored closely during the first couple of games.