Sporting Park hosts final FIFA World Cup qualifying match

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Friday is a big night for soccer fans. The Men's U.S. Soccer Team will take on Jamaica in a final FIFA World Cup qualifying match at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

Tickets to the game sold out in just five minutes.

For many soccer fans, this will be a chance to see the World Cup qualifying U.S. team before they head off to Brazil in the summer of 2014.

Friday night, every seat in Sporting Park's stadium will be packed, including 10,000 fans from out of town.

The game alone is expected to have an $8 million impact on the local area.

Back in July, Sporting Park hosted the soccer All Star game, which brought in more than $18 million in revenue to the area.

Jake Reid, Sporting's Chief Revenue Officer, says the stadium and Sporting KC team have been very fortunate.

"This is the third time we've had the U.S. team here at Sporting Park. They've really come to like the stadium. In fact, they haven't lost here yet", he explained, "I think it speaks for itself when you're out there. The atmosphere is fantastic and it brings a ton of people from all over the country. We hope to have similar events for years to come."

If you didn't get tickets to the game, the Sprint Plaza will open for fans Friday night for a free watch party.

Sporting Kansas City's coach, Peter Vermes, will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame at 2:30 p.m.  in the Sprint Plaza.

It's quite an accomplishment for Vermes, who is a former U.S. Men's National Team forward.

Before becoming the head coach for Sporting K.C., Vermes was captain for the U.S. team that won the first gold cup competition, played for the New York-New Jersey Metrostars in the first season of Major League Soccer and won the M.L.S. cup with the Kansas City Wizards in 2000.

Reid says the watch party will be great for fans who couldn't get a ticket before they sold out.

"We're setting up a huge T.V. for fans to watch. You get the noise from the crowd coming in and the screen right there and a huge post game party in the Boulevard Club as a celebration and send off to the team. If you don't have a ticket come out you'll still have a great time out there," he said with a smile.

 

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