T-Bones to hold tryouts Saturday for Home Run Challenge

The T-Bones will hold an open tryout at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 26, at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, Kansas City, Kan.

Three contestants will advance to the first round of the softball Home Run Challenge post-game Aug. 3.

Contestants should bring their own bat, pitcher and $10, which will include a general admission ticket to the game and a $5 donation to Harvesters.

The number of contestants will be capped at 100 persons.

The Home Run Challenge will start after the conclusion of the 5:05 p.m. Aug. 3 game at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Jose Canseco, Oakland A’s slugger, will make an appearance to participate in the Home Run Challenge Aug. 3. The event is a benefit for Harvesters.

Canseco, along with professional softball home-run hitter Jeremy Isenhower, will participate in the second and final round of the softball Home Run Challenge.

One of the contestants from the first round will advance to the finals to square off against Canseco and Isenhower.

New soccer training complex in KCK to have $1 billion effect, officials say

An artist’s drawing of a new national soccer training facility was on display at a news conference  July 23 in Kansas City, Kan.
An artist’s drawing of a new national soccer training facility was on display at a news conference July 23 in Kansas City, Kan.

by Mary Rupert

State and local officials were ecstatic July 23 about a new $75 million U.S. Soccer National Training Center complex to be built near the Schlitterbahn at 98th and Parallel Parkway in Kansas City, Kan.

The economic effect of the new soccer village, including new jobs and investment, will be more than $1 billion over 30 years, Gov. Sam Brownback said in a news conference at Sporting Park. The site of the new village is a little over a mile to the northeast of the Sporting Park stadium. Also at the announcement were Sporting Club, Unified Government, Schlitterbahn and EPR Properties officials.

“This high-quality training facility with structured programming, along with Sporting Park, state-of-the-art soccer stadium, will undoubtedly transform Kansas City, Kan., and our region into one of the top soccer venues in the nation,” Mayor Mark Holland said. For Kansas City, Kan., it also will be an opportunity to bring more visitors to the destination who will spend money in the community, he said.

Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman unveiled the project, which will include a 125-room hotel, a 100-square-foot indoor training facility, eight lighted professional fields and eight youth fields. It will also include an indoor pavilion and specialized facilities. He noted that this project was the same as getting another sports franchise here. The completion date is 2016.

The intent of the project, according to officials, is to build a world-class development to train youth and adult players, coaches and referees.

The soccer complex was expanded from its original idea of solely a youth training facility to one encompassing adults, including serving as a host to the national men’s and women’s teams, at youth and adult levels. It also is expected to be used for national soccer training camps, and referee and coach education programs.

“We’ve been committed to bringing world-class destinations to Kansas City, Kan.,” Mayor Holland said. He added Kansas City, Kan., is already No. 1 in the region for soccer, if not the nation. Soccer, a growing sport, also gives youths something to aspire to, he added.

While some of the details still remain to be worked out, and approved by the Unified Government Commission, the project will use sales tax revenue bonds, according to officials.

The process of city and state approvals will probably take 90 days, Heineman said. Simultaneously, design work will be done.

Mayor Holland said the STAR bonds at this new project will not mean any change to the retirement of the Village West STAR bonds, projected in 2017.

The governor said the state of Kansas and local community can make the decision about whether STAR bonds will be issued. State Rep. Tom Burroughs said the state has given discretion to the Kansas secretary of commerce to make those decisions, and the Legislature will not step in unless a question arises.

“We’re all excited,” said Unified Government Commissioner Mike Kane about the new development. Something like this doesn’t come along very often, he added. Commissioner Jim Walters, also at the announcement, said he was glad to see the new development.

State Sen. David Haley said he supported more development in eastern Kansas City, Kan.

While the property for the new training center is in the area originally set aside for the Schlitterbahn, according to Maureen Mahoney, chief of staff for Mayor Holland, there will still be plenty of land available there for more Schlitterbahn expansion.

A resolution to set a public hearing for the proposed STAR bond district and project plans is on the UG agenda for Thursday, July 24, at 7 p.m. If approved, the public hearing date would be Aug. 28. Described in the agenda is a project area between 94th Street and I-435, from Parallel Parkway to State Avenue. Sources said there also is additional land east of 94th Street under negotiation for this project.

Gov. Sam Brownback said Wyandotte County and the state of Kansas could see an economic effect exceeding $1 billion over 30 years with the new U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
Gov. Sam Brownback said Wyandotte County and the state of Kansas could see an economic effect exceeding $1 billion over 30 years with the new U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

Robb Heineman, CEO of Sporting Club, said this new national soccer training facility project was the equivalent of a new sports franchise here. (Staff photo)
Robb Heineman, CEO of Sporting Club, said this new national soccer training facility project was the equivalent of a new sports franchise here. (Staff photo)

Mayor Mark Holland said the new national soccer training center would transform Kansas City, Kan., and the region into one of the top soccer venues in the nation. (Staff photo)
Mayor Mark Holland said the new national soccer training center would transform Kansas City, Kan., and the region into one of the top soccer venues in the nation. (Staff photo)

David Brain, president and chief executive officer of EPR Properties, and Gary Henry, CEO of Schlitterbahn, attended the announcement. (Staff photo)
David Brain, president and chief executive officer of EPR Properties, and Gary Henry, CEO of Schlitterbahn, attended the announcement. (Staff photo)

Talking before the training center news conference were, left to right, Bill Rogers, Unified Government Commissioner Jane Winkler Philbrook, and State Rep. Tom Burroughs. UG Administrator Doug Bach is on the left. (Staff photo)
Talking before the training center news conference were, left to right, Bill Rogers, Unified Government Commissioner Jane Winkler Philbrook, and State Rep. Tom Burroughs. UG Administrator Doug Bach is on the left. (Staff photo)

Unified Government agenda documents showed this sketch of the STAR bond district for the national soccer training facility area.
Unified Government agenda documents showed this sketch of the STAR bond district for the national soccer training facility area.

Unified Government agenda documents showed this sketch of the national soccer training facility area.
Unified Government agenda documents showed this sketch of the national soccer training facility area.

Fans walked to the Sporting Kansas City soccer match July 23 at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
Fans walked to the Sporting Kansas City soccer match July 23 at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

Sporting KC takes on Manchester City Wednesday

The defending MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City will play host to the defending English Premier League champions Manchester City at 8 p.m. Wednesday night at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

The match will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes with radio coverage in Kansas City on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Gran D 1340. A limited number of tickets may still remain for Wednesday’s match and may be available at Ticketmaster.com.

The international friendly will consist of two 45-minute halves. If the match is tied at the conclusion of regulation, the two teams will go directly to a penalty kick shootout. The winner of Wednesday’s friendly will take home the Champions Shield.

Sporting KC hoisted the MLS Cup on Dec. 7 defeating Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park. At the end of regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods, the match was tied 1-1 before eventually being decided by the longest penalty kick shootout in MLS history. Sporting KC defender Aurelien Collin was named MLS Cup MVP for his equalizer in regulation and game-winning penalty kick.

Sporting KC currently sits atop the Eastern Conference with 32 points and a 10-5-5 record that includes five victories in the club’s last six MLS matches. Midfielders Benny Feilhaber and Lawrence Olum each netted a goal in Sporting KC’s 2-1 victory last Saturday over the LA Galaxy. Feilhaber’s goal was his second in as many matches earning him MLS Player of the Week honors for Week 19.

Manchester City enters the midweek match as part of a preseason tour in the United States to prepare for the 2014-15 English Premier League season.

Sporting Kansas City will be the first of Manchester City’s four scheduled matches in the United States. The marquee match between reigning champions is part of Summer in the Soccer Capital, presented by the Sprint Framily Plan. Following the match against Sporting KC, Manchester City will participate in the inaugural International Champions Cup against Liverpool FC, Olympiacos and AC Milan.

Manchester City finished the 2013-14 season in first place, winning their final match of the season against West Ham United to clinch the Premier League title.

Under first year manager Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester City finished with a 27-5-6 record and scored a club record 102 goals. The league title was Manchester City’s second in the previous three seasons. Manchester City also hoisted the Capital One Cup earlier this year and advanced out of the UEFA Champions League group stage.

– Story from Sporting KC