Sporting Park looking for new naming partner after Livestrong split

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The ripple effect of Lance Armstrong's public fall from grace and highly-anticipated admission of guilt to Oprah Winfrey is reaching far and wide in the Kansas City community.

On Tuesday, Sporting Kansas City and Armstrong's Livestrong Foundation announced they were parting ways. The $200 million stadium will now just be called "Sporting Park".

RELATED | Sporting KC, Livestrong Foundation sever ties

ESPN reported Sporting changed the name after the Livestrong Foundation accused the team of failing to pay $750,000 of $1 million in promised money to the foundation in 2012.

On Wednesday, Sporting KC said it has not broken the terms of the contract.

Now, Sporting is looking for a new naming rights partner and many Kansas City groups that once benefited from Armstrong's cycling stature and cancer foundation are reacting.

Former Wizards soccer player Nick Garcia, who grew up in Armstrong's hometown of Plano said, was disappointed by the split.

"I was saddened by the fact that Livestrong as an organization was departing ways with Sporting," he said. "I know Sporting was supportive of what Livestrong stood for."

Cancer Action, a 50-year-old Kansas City organization that provides support to cancer patients and survivors, received a grant from the Livestrong Foundation last year.

They know now those grants may be more difficult to obtain.

"We are counting on the community to continue support," board member Brian Levinson said.

Sporting Park, which opened in 2011, has been among the leaders in MLS average attendance the past two seasons.

It had a six-year naming rights agreement with Livestrong Foundation that was supposed to end in 2017.

Sources said Sporting was looking to remove itself from the name for months, but that Livestrong's allegation sped up the process.

It is now looking for new naming rights partner.

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