MLS is inching closer to the return of it’s 2020 season, and with that comes questions about how the season is going to continue. Obviously some parts of the country, like New York, have been hit harder than others. With that, one idea that has been making the rounds as been having multiple teams travel to one location and use that location as a hub to play games behind closed doors.
Over the weekend, Kansas City came out as one of the potential rumored hubs for teams to travel to for potentially some kind of tournament behind closed doors to start the season back up. Other sites that were rumored over the weekend were Dallas and Orlando.
Today in his press conference with the media, Jake Reid confirmed that Sporting KC has had discussions with the league about potentially being a hub for teams if that is the route that MLS chooses to go. Reid talked up the club’s facilities; Children’s Mercy Park, Compass Minerals National Performance Center (formerly Pinnacle), and the Swope Soccer Village as locations that could be used for team trainings as well as games. Reid also brought up the Wyandotte fields down the street from the NPC as well as Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex as other field locations in the city that could potentially be utilized.
Sporting’s stadium, Children’s Mercy Park is certainly set up to be able to host multiple teams with them having six locker rooms, Sporting’s locker room, a visitor locker room and four auxiliary locker rooms. These have been used in previous years when the stadium has hosted the Gold Cup, Olympic qualifying, and other events.
At the Performance Center there is the “SuperPitch,” three full size fields side by side and two turf fields that can be utilized for training. At Swope, Sporting’s old training facility there are two grass fields that could be utilized for training, plus the grass championship field. The complex also has six turf fields, one of which is directly accessible to the locker room facilities at Swope.
KC has the soccer facilities that in theory they could host a number of teams if MLS chooses to go with teams in a number of “hubs” around the country to host games once they get the all clear to return to play. It certainly isn’t going to be an immediate return to games but it’s a step.
Reid spoke on a number of other topics during his press conference, including his desire to see MLS be the first sports league to return, the new MLS academy league that’s being formed after the US Soccer Developmental Academy shut down, the USL season for Sporting Kansas City II, and more. You can check out the full press conference from Reid below, courtesy of Sporting KC’s YouTube account.