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Sporting KC’s season tickets sell-out, can growth continue?

Apr 24, 2013, 11:42 AM EDT

Sounders FC Sporting Kansas City Soccer

Sporting Kansas City’s growth since rebranding and moving into their own stadium has been quite sensational.

The MLS franchise announced last night that every single one of their 14,000 season tickets have now been sold for the 2013 season. An incredible achievement.

One of the founding members of MLS, — originally known as the Kansas City Wiz, then the Wizards — the club was renamed Sporting Kansas City in time for the 2011 MLS season and haven’t looked back since.

The franchise averaged a club record 19,404 fans during the 2012 season and has sold out 19 straight home games ahead of Saturday’s match against Portland.

“We’ve seen a tremendous response from our fans for tickets,” Jake Reid, Sporting’s Chief Revenue Officer said. “Their support is what makes the atmosphere at Sporting Park so incredible. Our season ticket base is the strongest it has ever been.”

One has to wonder, as the team continues to deliver on and off the field, how much further can Sporting continue to climb?

Well, they will host the first-ever MLS All-Star game in Kansas City this summer in another landmark achievement for SKC. They’ve added Argentine Designated Player Claudio Bieler, who has impressed already and scored four goals in his first eight games in a KC jersey. So great news there.

But losing Roger Espinoza and Kei Kamara to EPL sides Wigan and Norwich respectively, have hit the clubs roster hard. And with their participation in the CONCACAF Champions League coming up later in the season, their talented yet economical squad will be stretched even further.

It will be an interesting wait to see if Sporting add any players between now and the closure of MLS’ transfer window on May 6. But of course, Kamara could still return to KC if Norwich City decides against making his loan-deal a permanent one. However that seems unlikely, with several other suitors in the EPL and Europe lined up if the Canaries turn the deal down.

So who could Sporting go for? Well, a top class winger to replace Kamara would be hugely helpful. Graham Zusi is obviously their go to guy out wide or in a central attacking role. But after him, Sporting don’t have much depth of wide-attacking talent.

Looking around MLS right now, some attackers not getting minutes elsewhere and could tickle Sporting’s fancy are Lloyd Sam at New York, Jose Valencia from Portland and Justin Meram from the Columbus Crew. Those are just a few possible signings, but feel free to suggest any players you think would suit Sporting in the comments section below. Maybe the new MLS loan system that was recently introduced can help SKC grab some younger squad players, without eating into their salary cap significantly?

Either way, if Sporting are going to back their commercial success off the field with continued good results on it, they need a deeper squad for the rest of the season. Tick-tock, that transfer window is edging ever closer.

  1. chadmoon1 - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Correction: Original team moniker was the Kansas City Wiz.

    • charliej11 - Apr 24, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      …and they are currently called the Sporks.

      • bobinkc - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        Yes, Chad, and the Wiz was almost immediately transformed to “the Whiz” because they were absolutely terrible. This occurred while they were still playing to 4-5,000 fans in 70,000-seat Arrowhead where the Chiefs play. Talk about rattling around like peas in a boxcar.

        Charlie, I don’t know where you came up with Sporks, but I don’t know anyone who calls them that. Just because we live in fly-over land doesn’t mean that we don’t have great things here (barbeque for one). Unless, of course, your personal favorite home team has been sporked by them.

        The main thing would appear to be that Sporting and Sporting Park continue to climb up the ladder in MLS.

  2. valiantdraws - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Ok, Joe…this makes up for the Chivas sale post. Well done.

    • valiantdraws - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      As if you’re waiting on baited breath for my approval. 😉

  3. eboe - Apr 24, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    I’m sure Kamara will be back to America soon enough. He runs too hot and cold to last over there.

  4. jpan007 - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    Hopefully, yes

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