Case Study: Sporting Park
CSL served as the feasibility advisor throughout the planning of Livestrong Sporting Park, a $200 million, 18,467-seat soccer stadium that opened in 2011 as the new home of Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City. CSL’s role in the project began in 2001 with an initial feasibility study for the Governor-appointed Johnson County Soccer Stadium and Complex Task Force to assess the feasibility of constructing a 20,000 seat soccer-specific stadium and 20-field youth soccer field complex to serve as the home of Sporting Kansas City (formerly the Kansas City Wizards). Based on the results of the study, the Task Force recommended that negotiations begin with the Kansas City Wizards to construct and operate a new stadium and soccer complex. Due to the events of September 11, 2001 and subsequent economic downturn, those negotiations were put on hold indefinitely. In 2005, CSL was hired by the Kansas City Sports Commission to update the original study and provide analysis of prospective ancillary retail development that could serve as a funding mechanism for the stadium project. Shortly after the completion of the 2005 feasibility study, the soccer team was put up for sale and the new stadium project was put on hold once again. In 2007 and with new team ownership, CSL was hired again to update the feasibility study and focus on a new site in Kansas City, Missouri, as part of a $1.0 billion mixed-use development that would include at full build out an 18,500-seat soccer stadium, 12 tournament fields, 1.7 million square feet of office space, 490 new hotel rooms, and 1.1 million square feet of retail/restaurant development. The economic crisis that began in 2007 impacted the viability of the project and financing fell through. In 2009, CSL was hired again to provide an updated study focus on a new site in Wyandotte County, Kansas. The updated report was used to secure STAR Bond financing, which was instrumental component of the stadium financing.