KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Playing at Swope Park Soccer Village will soon be more expensive for leagues in the area, but their fans will be able to buy and drink alcohol anywhere on the premises.
The KC Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners approved the two revenue-driven changes for the facility on Tuesday.
The nonprofit Brookside Soccer Club is one of the groups impacted by the field rental rate hike.
"I think it's mixed emotions. Obviously, we at Brookside want things to be affordable for all of our families. We do understand there are economics out there at the park," Executive Director Nick Garcia said.
Their current $88 hourly rate will go up to $97, which another youth league currently pays. Garcia said some of the costs will likely be passed on to Brookside Soccer's 2,800 players. Another league, SC Network, will see an increase from $108 per hour to $118.
But the field rental hike isn't the only change Garcia is concerned about. He's also worried about the new sideline activity parents may have.
"When it comes to kids' soccer, you know that's when my executive director hat goes on, and it's probably not the best time or the best place on say a Saturday morning at 8 o'clock to have a nice cold one," he said.
Currently, alcohol is only sold on the west side of the soccer village. Being able to sell on the entire premises is expected to increase revenue by $25,000 annually, according to the KC Parks Department. That's in addition to the $40-50,000 currently generated by concessions at the park.
"Most of the alcohol initially is going to be sold during adult events like rugby, and we're thinking about adding baseball over there at times, but mostly it's going to be adult events. If we do it with youth events, it'll probably be very strategically timed," KC Parks Administrative Officer Doug Schroeder explained.
The department will have extra security and staff at any event with alcohol.