Sporting Kansas City to build new youth soccer village at Swope Park

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - On Wednesday, Kansas City's professional soccer team made good on promise to bring a youth soccer village to Swope Park.

Sporting Kansas City has agreed to design, build and operate the new park.

City and county dollars, that Kansas City taxpayers are already paying, will pay for five new, synthetic youth soccer fields.

A professional championship field, where teams like Manchester United can come and practice for a summer --  or can house the Big 12 Women's Championship game that is already scheduled -- would host money making events for fans.

That field would be built next to Sporting KC's existing state-of-the-art practice facility in Swope Park.

That professional field would come with stands for about 1,500 fans.

The design includes new concessions, restrooms, lights and all weather play fields.

Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo said the fields could give Kansas City, Mo., a chance for the first chance to host tournaments, like Overland Park does now.

"Taking the second largest municipal park in the country," Circo explained, "and making it into a world-class park is something no one ever dreamed."

The soccer village would replace decades-old, bumpy soccer fields.

Sporting KC's attorney Greg Cotton said the team will get something in return.

"If our popularity increases when people are playing soccer it equals more sporting fans and more players perhaps down the road for our team," Cotton said

Construction is expected to begin on June 1. All the fields should be complete by fall 2014.

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