CLAY COUNTY, Mo. — Kansas City has soccer fever! Not just from the popularity of Sporting KC or the new KC Current stadium under construction, but also because of the World Cup coming to the area in 2026. Preparations have already started from the newly released logos to the sports committee, and one man has work to do, too.
"We just want this complex, the WMSL [Western Missouri Soccer League] Soccer Complex to be in the conversation, you know, for those teams to evaluate, you know, for their players to train at," said Brian Budzinksi, the new owner.
Budzinski is also the owner of the Kansas City Soccer Dome and the KC Comets, so he knows what it takes to make these fields in professional shape. It requires proper irrigation, new seats, lighting, and grass.
"In Kansas City, there’s a lot of turf complexes, there’s not as much grass," Budzinski said. "The high, high level players really actually prefer to play on grass because it’s better for their bodies. So, in gearing up for the World Cup in 2026, we’re going to try to have, you know, a couple of these fields, from a grass perspective that are at a world class level."
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The World Cup aspirations are one part, but Budzinski is hoping to attract more young athletes with these revitalized fields.
"Soccer is not getting less popular in Kansas City, right? You see what the professional teams are doing the attendance that you see with the youth," he said. "Very little barrier entry, there’s not a lot of costs associated with it. Anybody can play. You don’t have to be super tall, you don’t have to be super fast, you don;’t have to be the size of an offensive lineman."
But it's also a passion project for him.
"You know, people that grew up playing here, like myself that have younger kids now," Budzinski said. "This would be a place and a destination for us to have our kids play at."
Work has already started for the 2 to 3 year project. They're working in phases so to not disrupt the soccer seasons. They hope to be done by 2026.