Professional soccer club Sporting Kansas City announced on Thursday that the name of its home field in Kansas City, Kansas, will be changed on January 1, 2016, from Sporting Park to Children’s Mercy Park.
The Kansas City-based pediatric hospital will have exclusive naming rights for the next 10 years. The financial terms weren’t disclosed, but Children’s Mercy will also expand its partnership with Sporting Kansas City in other ways.
When the nearby National Training Center is completed, it will include a sports medicine and rehab center. Groundbreaking for the center, which will be built east of the soccer stadium in KCK, is expected to take place this coming spring. Sporting has partnered with US Soccer to build the facility.
Cliff Illig, one of Sporting’s co-owners, outlined the plan. “This world class facility will have the most advanced medical, physical fitness and sports performance technologies available, all with the intent of giving kids across the region greater access to the very best pediatric-trained sports medicine experts,” Illig said at a news conference Thursday.
Illig said the facility will also provide services for other sports besides soccer. Through the partnership, Sporting and Children’s Mercy Hospital are looking to expand current initiatives to educate parents and youngsters on injury prevention and better awareness of nutrition.
Greg Echlin is a sports reporter for KCUR 89.3.