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10 year challenge: Children’s Mercy Park

Confession - It’s closer to a nine year challenge but who’s counting?

Thad Bell

With the “10 year challenge” seeming to take over social media lately, it seemed like a good idea to look back at the birth of Children's Mercy Park.

Nine years ago, on January 19th, the Unified Government the Unified Government gave unanimous approval to construct a stadium for the Kansas City Wizards near the Legends at Village West shopping center.

They wasted little time to get started. On the 20th they broke ground for the new stadium and while that was more ceremonial and celebratory, more dirt started quickly started moving and construction was underway.

A little under a year-and-half later, a re-branded Sporting Kansas City played their first match in their new home. Sporting KC hosted the Chicago Fire and played to a scoreless draw on June 9th, 2011.

Since then, the stadium has went from being named LiveStrong Sporting Park to Children’s Mercy Park, has hosted a number of national team games, Open Cup Championships, an MLS Cup and a number of other events.

A few weeks before the vote by the Unified Government, equipment showed up, announcing the intent to get started as quickly as possible.

Thad Bell

This is close to the same angle as this shot from opening day of 2018.

Thad Bell

The first dirt was moved when Sporting Kansas City’s President and CEO Robb Heineman climbed in and had the honor of the first bucket of earth moved.

Thad Bell

They then moved over to move some dirt in the corner of Village West Parkway and France Family Drive. That location of course became the entrance to the stadium and the members club.

Thad Bell

Not quite the same angle but this is what that corner looks like now. This shot is from the Sporting KC win over Los Angeles FC at the end of the 2018 season.

Thad Bell

This is from just six months into construction. This angle looks down the west stands with the players bench area. The bones of the Victory Suite is there but the members stand has not been started yet.

Thad Bell

Down this line has become the home of Peter Vermes where he has barked orders, terrorized a few officials and led his team to a win in the MLS Cup and three Open Cup Championships.

Thad Bell