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Sporting KC announces 2021 schedule, 6,500-fan limit to start season

Sporting KC Celebrates
Posted at 4:26 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 17:26:32-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sporting Kansas City season-ticket members will have access to a presale that begins Friday ahead of the 2021 season.

MLS and the club announced the full 34-game slate for the defending Western Conference regular-season champions on Wednesday.

To begin the season, Children’s Mercy Park will have a 6,500-fan limit, the club also announced.

Sporting KC will open the season Saturday, April 17, at the New York Red Bulls, the latest start to an MLS season in franchise history.

The home opener for Sporting KC’s 25th-anniversary season will be at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 23, against Orlando City SC and will be televised on FS1.

It is one of seven nationally televised games on Sporting KC’s upcoming schedule. That also includes home games May 9 against Austin FC (FS1), June 26 against LAFC (ESPN) and Sept. 26 against Seattle Sounders FC (FS1) and road matches Aug. 21 and Oct. 31 at Minnesota United FC (both on ESPN) as well as Sept. 3 at LAFC (UniMas).

Bally Sports Kansas City, formerly known as Fox Sports Kansas City, will remain the home for local Sporting KC broadcasts, the details of which will be announced at a later date.

Nate Bukaty returns as Sporting KC’s play-by-play announcer with former SKC forward Jacob Peterson providing color commentary and Carter Augustine on the sideline.

The regular season ends Sunday, Nov. 7, against Real Salt Lake at Children’s Mercy Park.

Tickets for Sporting KC’s first four home matches — versus Orlando City, Austin, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (May 16) and Houston Dynamo FC (May 29) — go on sale March 31 to the general public.

Thirty-one of Sporting KC’s 34 games this season will be against Western Conference opponents. A Sept. 11 home game against Chicago Fire FC is the only game against an Eastern Conference team scheduled after April 23.

MLS will keep COVID-19 protocols in place to begin the season for players and staff. Children’s Mercy Park also will continue to require face coverings for fans as part of its reduced-capacity health and safety protocols.

"We are excited to welcome supporters back to Children's Mercy Park this year," Sporting KC President and CEO Jake Reid said. "With assistance and guidance from local officials, we were permitted to host matches at a larger capacity to begin the season but will start with a more limited number of approximately 6,500 fans. The safety and wellbeing of supporters remains our top priority. To that end, we will utilize the detailed safety protocols in place at the stadium and continue to adapt in accordance with the changing landscape."

Sporting KC, which is one of nine active charter members from the first MLS season in 1996, will be seeking its 10th playoff appearance in the last 11 seasons — all under Peter Vermes, who is the longest-tenured coach in MLS entering his 13th season.

Sporting KC also will compete in the Leagues Cup, which pits top MLS teams against clubs from Mexico’s top professional league Liga MX, and hopes to compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which returns after a one-year hiatus but will only feature eight MLS teams in 2021.

SPORTING KC 2021 SCHEDULE

() indicates TV partner for nationally televised games

DateOpponentTime
Wednesday, April 21at New York Red Bulls7 p.m.
Friday, April 23Orlando City SC6:30 p.m. (FS1)
Saturday, May 1at Real Salt Lake1 p.m.
Sunday, May 9Austin FC6:30 p.m. (FS1)
Wednesday, May 12at Houston Dynamo FC7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 16Vancouver Whitecaps FC1 p.m.
Saturday, May 22at San Jose Earthquakes9 p.m.
Saturday, May 29Houston Dynamo FC7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 19at Portland Timbers9:30 p.m.
Wednesday, June 23Colorado Rapids7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 26LAFC4 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday, July 4at LA Galaxy9:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 17Austin FC7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 21San Jose Earthquakes7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 25at Seattle Sounders FC8 p.m.
Saturday, July 31FC Dallas7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 4at LAFC9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 7at Colorado Rapids8 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 14at FC Dallas7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 18Portland Timbers7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 21at Minnesota United FC2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Saturday, Aug. 28Colorado Rapids7:30 p.m.
Friday, Sep. 3at LAFC9 p.m.
Saturday, Sep. 11Chicago Fire FC7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sep. 15Minnesota United FC7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sep. 26Seattle Sounders FC5 p.m. (FS1)
Wednesday, Sep. 29at FC Dallas7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 3Houston Dynamo FCTBD
Sunday, Oct. 17at Vancouver Whitecaps FC9 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 23at Seattle Sounders FC8 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 27LA Galaxy7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 31at Minnesota United FCTBD (ESPN)
Wednesday, Nov. 3at Austin FC8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 7Real Salt Lake5 p.m.