By Kevin Collison
Kansas City Live! cemented its reputation as being the place to gather in the metro to watch big sporting events with more than 10,000 people screaming their patriotic hearts out for the U.S. women’s soccer team Sunday.
It was where Rob and Andrea Gladson traveled from Olathe to share the excitement and pride of the World Cup triumph, noting Facebook friends said “you’re the place to be” on their post.
“We love the USA, we love Kansas City and we want a World Cup here,” Andrea said. “We’ve been here for the World Series and other events too.”
When first envisioned as part of the Power & Light District back in 2004, the KC Live! block was billed more as a place for people to gather and party before or after events at the Sprint Center across the street.
But Rachel Waller, director of marketing for the District, said it became apparent the outdoor party space was becoming a hit for other big sporting events far from downtown, particularly during the Royals World Series runs in 2014 and 2015.
“Kansas City Live! has become a place where people know they can come together to cheer on the U.S. or Royals, a festive place like no other in the community.”
The more than 10,000 people for the Sunday World Cup were on top of about 5,000 people who gathered last Tuesday for the U.S.-England match and 3,700 for the U.S and France.
Those pumped up audiences were eye candy for sports networks, with cutaways on Fox Sports interspersed during the match to show the crowds at KC Live!
“We’ve been getting great national coverage,” Waller said.
Having those huge crowds also has helped the bottom line at Power & Light, although no figures were available.
Waller did say it was significant, because the matches were during usually slower times, during the day Tuesday and Sunday.
“It’s truly a sports watching experience unique to Kansas City and an atmosphere people can’t get anywhere else.”
Don’t miss any downtown news, sign up for our weekly CityScene KC email review here.