Having an MLS team paying off for Kansas City region

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Fans attending Thursday night’s MLS playoff match in Kansas City, KS called the atmosphere electric. That’s just one reason Mark One Electric has a marketing relationship with the team.

“It’s just become a great branding mechanism for our company,” said Mark One Vice President Tony Privitera.

He will also become the Chair of the Kansas City, KS Chamber of Commerce next year. Current Chair Daniel Silva says the presence of Sporting K.C. goes well beyond sports. He said the ownership group has been invested in the community. Silva believes an MLS team in St. Louis would be great for both cities.

“It would be great to have that kind of back and forth between another St. Louis team much like the Royals and the Cardinals,” Silva said. “I think it would be great for the region.”

Sporting K.C. owns the soccer stadium where it plays. The stadium was built thanks to bonds being paid off from tax revenue within the district where the stadium is located. That district includes the Kansas Speedway and the Legends shopping district.

David Alvey is mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS.  He is also a graduate of St. Louis University and believes the proposed location for a soccer stadium in St. Louis is a good one.

“It will help to activate that space downtown,” he said. “I think it’s a good move.”

He said Sporting K.C. has made a real commitment to improving the Kansas City, KS area. The team built a world-class practice facility and mini soccer courts throughout the county for a form of soccer known as futsal. The courts give kids throughout the county a chance to play soccer.

“If you go there any day, you will find kids waiting to get onto the courts to play,” said Alvey.

Privitera has advice for St. Louis leaders trying to decide whether fighting for an MLS team will bring benefits with it.

“Don’t blink,” he said.  “You better do it or somebody else will do it.”