Sports fans prepared to sweat it out for their teams

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Summer sports fans are prepared to sweat. There's no delicate way to phrase it. But with the continued steamy weather, arenas around Kansas city are working to make games and matches safe in the heat.

Sporting Kansas City has bumped its daily practices up an hour to 9 a.m. from 10 a.m. to ensure the safety of its players.

Soccer stars are prepared for the heat, but how about those coming out to watch the game?

Rain or shine, hot or cold, dedicated soccer fans are loud and proud. They never leave their spirit or team scarf at home.

So it's no surprise that powder blue clad fans keep showing up to Livestrong Park in Kansas City, Kan., even as this summer's sweltering heat drags on.

"For one, it's kind of shaded a little bit. Most of the games are at night, so I think it's good from that aspect," explained soccer fan Kevin Heubel.

The park's structure offers a bit of relief. Tuesday night's breeze helped, too. But it seemed everyone was looking for a little something else.

"I'm ready for some rain, absolutely. Not for cold weather, but for rain, yeah," said Noah Garfinkle, Sporting KC fan.

Livestrong Park staff told 41 Action News a medical crew is always on hand just in case heat exhaustion strikes on or off the field. Thankfully, they haven't heard of any reports so far this year.

Plus, staff allows fans to bring a 20 ounce sealed bottle of water to the park on steamy days.

Heubel thought Sporting KC players and fans could handle the heat. However, he said the team's opponent from France may be a different story.

"For a team like Montpellier, where it's like so early in the season for them, it must be tough for them. But, for Sporting Kansas City, I think they're prepared for the heat," he said.

On the other side of the state line, tennis lured fans into the heat.

A group in matching royal blue led the cheers for the Kansas City Explorers from the stands.

"We call it the Blue Crew and come to every home match every year," explained Tasha Pierson.

Each match costs Pierson six hours in a car. The Blue Crew drives in from Wichita. But the heat can't keep them away.

"Some of the matches start at 7:30 and that's kind of nice because the sun goes down quicker," she said.
 

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