The Soccer Village opens at Swope Park

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Brand new, state-of-the-art soccer fields opened at Kansas City's Swope Park Tuesday.

The six soccer fields, including a champion field, are open just in time for the women's Big 12 Championship games.

The Soccer Village cost $13.5 million, and the champion field was built with more than 99,000 square feet of Colorado bluegrass, which was laid by laser guided bulldozers.

Construction crews spent the day Monday working to get the brand new fields ready for the Women's Big 12 games which begin Wednesday.

Sporting had originally bid to bring the tournament to Sporting Park in Wyandotte County, but when the professional team realized they would be in the playoffs and schedules changed, Sporting suddenly found itself hosting the tournament with no field.

David Ficklin, Sporting's VP of Development said he told the Big 12, "Trust us because we'll build something really special here and you'll love it."

The Big 12 did trust the organization. With the city's help, they built the Championship Field in just 160.

"We knew we could build something," Ficklin said, pointing, "it's magical and on time and here you have it."

University of Kansas is in the final rounds. The seven-game series is estimated to generate $1.2 million to the Kansas City economy and draw more than 2,000 people.

Cindy Circo, Kansas City's Mayor Pro Tem, says the championship games are only the beginning for these fields.  They'll be used by youth sport leagues, college games and semi-professionals and give kids in the urban core a place to play.

"It's about having kids involved in something and we really have an international flair in our urban core communities and this is the game that they play," she said.

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