A Kansas City Sports Renaissance
Kansas City has a long history in professional sports, which has included national championships in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer. The Chiefs won the AFL title in 1962 and in 1966 when they went on to lose Super Bowl I. They won the last AFL championship in 1969 and went on to win Super Bowl IV. The Royals became the first expansion team to reach the MLB playoffs in 1976 and to reach the World Series in 1980, and finally to win the World Series in 1985 against the cross-state rival St. Louis Cardinals. The Royals did not make the playoff again until last year, reaching the World Series via a Wild Card spot in 2014. Sporting Kansas City has won the MLS Cup twice, once as the KC Wizards in 2000 and again in 2013. They have also won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup twice in 2004 and 2012. Although, any of these teams have rarely been successful at the same time. This fall promises to be an exciting time in Kansas City Sports.
Kansas City Royals
As of this writing, the Royals are successfully defending their World Series run of last year with a commanding lead in the AL Central Division and one of the best records in Major League Baseball. It appears they will be playing meaningful fall baseball for just the second time in the last 30 years, and the city could not be more excited. The Royals had 4 All-Stars voted to the starting lineup with Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, and Salvador Perez, although Gordon missed to due to injury. They also had 3 other players named to the AL squad with Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera added as Relievers, and Mike Moustakas added in the final fan voting. From 2001 through 2013, K.C. didn’t have a single All-Star starter so Kansas City and Royals fans everywhere have been turning out at Kauffman Stadium to cheer on these Royals all season! You can join them at www.kcroyals.com.
Sporting Kansas City
Unlike the Royals, Kansas City’s Major League Soccer team has been on a winning streak for several years since changing their name and moving to a soccer-specific stadium, Sporting Park. It has sold out nearly every game since their 2012 Championship and made the playoff each of the last four seasons. Sporting currently sits solidly in the playoffs from the Western Conference. The team is lead by Matt Besler and Graham Zusi, who both represented the US in the World Cup. Soccer in Kansas City is an amazing spectacle of chants, cheers and fireworks, but Sporting has celebrated over 50 straight sellouts so tickets are hard to come by. If you are quick enough, you might just be able to get tickets to a Sporting match at www.sportingkc.com.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have dominated Kansas City’s sports scene over the last two decades, but a few down years and the emergence of Sporting and the Royals have put pressure on them to win in order to stay relevant. In 2013, they hired new head coach, Andy Reid and started 9-0 and made the playoffs. Last year, they went 9-7 and finished second behind the Denver Broncos and missed the playoff. This season the Chiefs are a popular pick to finally unseat Payton Manning and the Broncos. The Chiefs are led by quarterback Alex Smith, running back Jamaal Charles, Linebackers Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson, and newly acquired wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. The Chiefs play at the legendary Arrowhead Stadium, which holds the Guinness Book of World Records spot for the Loudest Crowd Roar at a Sports Stadium. More information and tickets at www.kcchiefs.com.
KC is also home to the Kansas Speedway, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, NCAA College Basketball Experience, NAIA National Basketball Tournament, Big 12 Basketball Tournament, and many other exciting college and professional sports. For example, FC Kansas City, the National Women’s Soccer team features Lauren Holiday and Becky Sauerbrunn from the 2015 US Women’s World Cup Championship team. The Missouri Comets start their indoor soccer season soon, and you can also catch the Missouri Mavericks playing hockey at the Independence Events Center just east of Kansas City. Kansas City is an amazing sports town, and we hope you get the chance to enjoy it during your stay.