A national soccer training and coaching development center is possible for Kansas City, Kan., according to soccer officials.
Today officials of Sporting Club and the U.S. Soccer Federation announced they have agreed to a memorandum of understanding to jointly explore bringing a new national training center to Kansas City, Kan.
The cost of such a center is projected to be $50 million, according to officials with Sporting Kansas City. The site is not determined yet, but is proposed to be within Kansas City, Kan.
Sporting Club plans to send out requests for proposals by Monday to Wyandotte County land owners and real estate brokers to help identify the best available location for the National Training and Coaching Development Center.
The center would be expected to be the host of U.S. National Team camps , coaching education and referee development programs.
At this point, the details are still sketchy on the center, but a number of questions should be answered in a few weeks, as proposals are being put together, said Rob Thomson, executive vice president of communications of Sporting Kansas City.
“If everything works out, it would be very exciting,” he said.
The training and development center has three initiatives, according to a spokesman, a world-class infrastructure, education and youth development. The center would provide vertical integration in several areas for players, coaches, and referees.
U.S. Soccer will also explore the feasibility of establishing futsal or small-sided soccer programming, or both, to be managed out of the National Training and Coaching Development Center.
Sporting KC released these statements from officials about the proposed center:
Joe Reardon - Mayor-CEO of Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan.:
"A national development center is a grand opportunity for us to build upon the great synergy and excitement we've experienced since the opening of Sporting Park. The partnership with U.S. Soccer and Sporting Club would help support our efforts to bring quality youth soccer programs across all of Kansas City, Kansas and further enhance our reputation as a city with world-class sports facilities. We have been diligently working with Sporting Club as they developed this revolutionary concept, and with this announcement, it looks to be well worth the wait. We look forward to hearing more details about the impacts in the coming days and weeks."
Todd LaSala, chairman of the board, Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce:
"We welcome U.S. Soccer to Kansas City, Kansas with open arms. It makes perfect sense to have the National Training and Coaching Development Center locate in KCK, which is now home to one of the world's best new soccer-specific stadiums and a growing community of rabid professional soccer fans. The KCK Chamber will be actively looking for opportunities to help U.S. Soccer succeed in this market and to leverage the obvious synergies and economic development benefits that will result from having these world-class facilities in our city."
Robb Heineman - Sporting Club CEO:
"While it is certainly a great honor that the Federation is considering Kansas City, it is also a great recognition of the community's support of soccer. The National Training and Coaching Development Center would bring tens of thousands of hotel room nights and the futsal component has the potential to have a significant, long-term impact on youth development in our sport. We saw Matt Besler become the first player born in Kansas to play for the U.S. Men's National Team earlier this year. We hope to see more players represent Kansas City in the future. This project has both immediate, ongoing economic benefits and the potential for an incredible long-term benefit. The development center would place Kansas City at the center of soccer conversation, both nationally and worldwide."