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Kansas City leaders approve building youth soccer facility in Northland

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Posted at 5:52 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 18:52:13-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Families in Kansas City, Missouri, will have a new place to play soccer and other youth sports.

Thursday, the city council approved a $36 million proposal to build the “North Sports Complex" on the northwest corner of Missouri Route 152 and North Platte Purchase Drive. The ten-field facility could open by May 2022.

The city chose Sporting KC to operate and maintain the facility. The professional soccer team’s CEO told council members Wednesday the organization will host local games, practices and programs during the week and host regional tournaments at the site on weekends.

Over 30 years, developers project the field will generate nearly $200 million in new sales tax revenue for the city.

Opponents of the plan argue $36 million could be better spent on more pressing issues facing the city, such as crime, homelessness and the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of a modified proposal agreed to Thursday, Sporting KC must agree to share profits from the site with the city. Sporting KC does not project making money at the North Sports Complex until about five years after opening.

Sporting KC currently runs the city’s Swope Soccer Village in Swope Park. As part of the new Northland agreement, the organization must extend its contract with Swope Soccer Village past 2023 and cover the city’s losses at Swope Soccer Village (the facility broke even in 2019). The city also set aside about $1 million to repair the parking at Swope Soccer Village.