USMNT Daily Update: Livestrong Park’s chance to be the new go-to WCQ venue

  LivestrongPark

By IVES GALARCEP

When the U.S. Men's National Team takes on Guatemala at Livestrong Sporting Park next month in World Cup qualifying, there will be more on the line than a spot in the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF qualifying. The stadium the game is being played in will be competing for a new role as the national team's preferred home for marquee qualifiers.

Ever since that freezing winter day in 2001, when the U.S. beat Mexico in World Cup qualifying at Crew Stadium, Columbus has been adopted as the unofficial home for big national team matches. We have seen three USA-Mexico qualifiers played at Crew Stadium over the past decade, and each time American fans converged on the nation's first soccer-specific stadium and given the team a tangible home-field advantage. Earlier this month, in a must-win USA qualifier against Jamaica, we saw what was arguably the best crowd to ever watch a national team at Crew Stadium.

Given that impressive history you would think there would be no chance for Columbus to lose its place as the preferred USMNT venue for important matches, but that beautiful new stadium near the Kansas/Missouri border is threatening take that spot. The Oct. 16th qualifier at Livestrong Sporting Park will be the Kansas City market's chance to make the very case that it is ready to take the baton from Columbus.

So why would U.S. Soccer consider anywhere but Columbus, where the team has had so much success and where we have seen some of the best and most passionate American crowds ever, for matches like USA-Mexico qualifiers?

From a practical standpoint, Kansas City, Kansas, where Livestrong Park is located, is about as close to the exact middle of the country as you can get, which means the most central location possible. It would mean an approximately 1,200-mile shorter commute (round trip) to major national team matches for fans from at least half the country.

Then you have the fact that Livestrong Sporting Park is an immaculate new $200 million facility, one of the nation's true crown jewels for soccer. As important as Crew Stadium is to the history of Major League Soccer, and as amazing as the crowds have been at national team matches there, you can't deny that Crew Stadium just doesn't measure up to the new stadiums that have been built after it.

Lastly, you have an aggressive Sporting Kansas City ownership group that understands what it would mean for their stadium, and for soccer in the midwest, if major national team matches become the norm rather than a rarity. The value of being considered the home of the U.S. national team, even in an unofficial capacity, would be a boon for a club that has already made amazing strides in establishing itself, not just in the Kansas City market, but nationally.

We saw just how agressive Sporting KC's owners can be when Sporting Kansas City beat out big-spending Seattle Sounders for the right to host the 2012 U.S. Open Cup. People in Seattle will certainly point out that the bidding process seemed to be a curious one considering both clubs apparently made very comparable bids, but that is what stands out most in that whole situation. Sporting KC's owners managed to put up a competitive bid against a team that generates considerable more revenue, and a club that isn't still paying off the cost of a brand new stadium like Sporting KC's owners are.

As much as Sporting KC's owners will do their part to help push Livestrong Sporting Park, it will still be up to the fans to maximize the venue's potential on Oct. 16th. The upcoming qualifier against Guatemala will serve as an audition of sorts. A passionate and packed Livestrong Sporting Park will show U.S. Soccer officials that turning to Kansas City in 2013 for the USA-Mexico qualifier might not be a bad thing (assuming the USA qualifies for the final round of CONCACAF qualifying).

If that change does happen, and if we find ourselves heading to Livestrong Park next year, instead of Crew Stadium, for the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifier, there will be some inevitable sadness. Why? The fact is the USA has never lost in Columbus, and Crew Stadium has always produced amazing crowds and memories. Trips to Columbus for important matches have become traditions for countless fans throughout the country. The lasting memory of the U.S. national team at Crew Stadium will be that unforgettable crowd urging the team on in a must-win qualifier on Sept. 11th.

The emotion of that night won't soon be forgotten, and that memorable night only served to set the bar higher for the fans who travel to Kansas City for USA-Guatemala.

The Oct. 16th qualifier is going to be a dramatic event already because of what will be on the line for the national team, but the reality is that more than just a place in the Hexagonal is on the line. A chance to turn Livestrong Sporting Park into the U.S. national team's new unofficial home will also be on the line. Put that all together and you have the makings of an unforgettable night, and potentially the first of many memorable U.S. national team visits to Livestrong Sporting Park for important qualifiers.

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82 Responses to USMNT Daily Update: Livestrong Park’s chance to be the new go-to WCQ venue

  1. Ryan says:

    I was at LSP for the Open Cup final. It was downright amazing, the atmosphere was our if this world.

  2. Al says:

    After the amazing atmosphere I witnessed first hand in Columbus on Sept. 11, there is NO way Crew Stadium should lose the “unofficial home” title…but there is plenty of room on the USMNT home stadium bus. Fact is, we need more than one “friendly home” for our boys. Let Crew Stadium, Livestrong Park, Century Link in Seattle and Jeld-Wen Field in Portland all host important home matches. I just hope the US-Mexico matches continue to be hosted in Columbus.

  3. Charles says:

    The article is correct, but it is almost a slap in the face of Seattle right now.
    Best soccer stadium in the US, biggest attendance, you could go on and on, best looking fans…..
    …..turf being the only negative and that can be overcome.

  4. OleOleOle says:

    Meh. If you’re far enouogh away that you have to fly, they’re the same. No direct flights. Chicago would be better.

  5. andrew says:

    I lived in KC pre-Livestrong Stadium days.
    The first time the Wizards played Chivas USA at home, it was close to a sell out game with 80% of those fans turning up to support the “new” chivas team.
    This was also in Arrowhead mind you.
    I have a hard time thinking that any crowd at a USA-Mexico game in KC would be anything other than pro-Mexican.

  6. Tyler says:

    Seattle doesn’t have a soccer Stadium…and the WCQ aren’t looking for highest attendance. They would do that if we got a World Cup but they care more about playing in a soccer specific stadium with a good atmosphere than sheer number of fans.

  7. Dimidri says:

    Weather+demographics favor columbus

  8. BamaMan says:

    I don’t think it’s a straight up battle between Columbus and Kansas City. If the US makes it to the Hex, I imagine both will host games no matter what. But it’s hard to see the USSF taking the Mexico game away from Columbus. Columbus has a lower season ticket holder base, but with the new USSC program in place – and the growth of American Outlaws – it should be fairly easy to ensure a pro-US crowd.

    As for Seattle and Jeld-Wen, both have incredible atmospheres but it’s impossible to see the USSF choosing to go to turf even if it has temporary sodding. Jeld-Wen’s field dimensions also pose a problem. If and when those things are changed, I think both will become permanent fixtures on the USMNT schedule.

  9. William the Terror says:

    Nooooooo! Crew stadium = our Azteca, and I am not a Crew fan

  10. El paso, tx- soccer love says:

    Columbus needs a new soccer stadium and a special one and they will become the new skc. If its an important game stay north and friendly spread the game but seattle, portland, salt lake, columbus needs a new stadium, kansas are very strong home advantages. New york and los angeles are a disappointment and the immigrants hurt the market but southwest and southeast are hidden markets for the national team that can help mls as well. remember soccer fans are unique and love rowdy.

  11. malkin says:

    Seattle and Portland have artificial turf. In other words, a WCQ will never happen.

  12. malkin says:

    Too many people from [insert country we're playing] live in Chicago. We lose the home field advantage.

  13. TomG says:

    And they’re way too close to Canada. We don’t want any Canadians with their flapping heads messing up our home field advantage, eh.

  14. Spank says:

    I don’t think it should matter one bit that Crew Stadium isn’t new or that it’s not as flashy as other stadiums. As long as there is a pro USA crowd, that is all that should matter. Our guys need support! Even if there is a pro USA crowd against Guatemala, you have to remember that they look alike but Guatemalan’s aren’t Mexicans. Don’t underestimate Mexico and their pride for their national team.

  15. Noah says:

    I live in Kc now and attend every SKC home match at livestrong and attended the matches the last few years where they have hosted foreign club teams including chivas de guadalajara there were mexican fans there but still 80% of the attendance was pro skc and that was for a friendly where most of the non die hard fans dont even consider showing up. I have no doubt that if Livestrong were to host a usa-mexico wcq that livestrong would become a pro american fortress

  16. Brad says:

    I was at the Gold Cup game last summer, and it was amateur hour. C-bus all the way.

  17. Noah says:

    I agree that Crew stadium has been great to the us team but the atmosphere currently in kansas city is unmatched in my opinion and I have been to home games in the last two years in chicago, columbus, denver, seattle and portland. Portland closely folows with seattle following them. I beleive that is time start easing in a changing of the guard for USMNT matches while still continuing to have matches in Columbus

  18. Yusef says:

    Those 4 make a ton of sense. In addition, I’d include a less accessible (further south) stadium for any qualifiers against Canada.

  19. john.q says:

    seattle will NEVER EVER be a consistent WCQ site. not a slight to the city or it’s fans.. it’s just to far from europe. get over it.

  20. Shane says:

    Went to the USA – Canada Gold Cup match in Detroit, MI (Canada-US border) and while the Canadian fans were an awesome bunch, they were an extremely small, awesome bunch that did not threaten our home field advantage.

  21. Yusef says:

    No chance. Mexican population would definitely come out in support of Mexico in KC. That match needs to stay in Columbus.

  22. Shane says:

    last USA – Mexico match in Chicago was an utter embarrassment in terms of a USA home field advantage

  23. bryan says:

    i think there is plenty of room for both stadiums to be the go-to stadiums. but i think Ives is right in that this game will be essentially an audition. i’m sure SKC will pull out all the stops for this game.

    as for Pacific Northwest…it’s tough. i don’t see Portland getting one until the field is bigger (which they are doing after this season, right?) and Seattle has the turf issue. but i think both deserve a chance for sure. Seattle should be able to give a good home field advantage for a USA/Mexico game:

    Total Population 620778 100.00%
    Hispanic or Latino(of any race) 6.6%
    Mexican 3.17%

    Portland has about twice as many Hispanic residents (about about 100,000 less residents), but i could not find a similar breakdown. but i did read that most are of Mexican heritage.

    by comparison, Kansas City:

    (Kansas portion) Total Population 146453
    Hispanic population % 27.8%!!!

    (Missouri portion) Total Population 463202
    Hispanic population % 10.0%

    Columbus:

    Total population 797434
    Hispanic population % 5.6%

    numbers from US Census Bureau. either way, i think each of these cities would be great for the USMNT.

    loving these daily USMNT articles!

  24. El paso, tx- soccer love says:

    Our azteca is seattle or portland and columbus needs a new stadium. If seattle would get a sss that would be our azteca. I would also love a north carolina city for a usa vs mexico.

  25. kg says:

    Only substantial grass field I could find in the pacific northwest is Safeco field. Maybe their are others I don’t know of (college fb). Could definitely work though.

  26. THomas says:

    As much as I’d love a qualifier in my home city of Chicago…it’s not smart. Way to many fans of way to many nations in a way to accessible location.

  27. DJ says:

    I’m a bit mystified at Yusef’s (and others’) response(s). LSP hasn’t been even close to being a pro-Mexico crowd for ANY such match, including Chivas last year. (1) Study demos in the KC/MO area, and (2) actually go to a game or three.

  28. THomas says:

    I clearly remember playing Spain in a friendly in Spain in a smallish stadium. The fans were still great and the atmosphere seemed good too. I distinctly remember thinking, we can fill a stadium that size of all US fans rather than an NFL stadium w/ all the opponent’s fans.

    That’s why I love having qualifiers in Columbus and KC. It looks, feels, and is a complete home field advantage. If it works every time, too bad if we leave out other locations. I’d rather qualify for a World Cup and take a trip every now and then to one of those spots.

  29. bottlcaps says:

    In virtually every major metropolitan market you are going to have a base of immigrants with a good portion of them Latinos with ties to Mexico and Central American countries. NAturally these fans are not only great football fans but also sentimental supporters of their home country. As such you can virtually rule out ever having an important WCQ against a Central A or Mexican team in LA, Chicago, San Francisco, Texas, New York, Philadelphia, D.C., Anywhere in Florida and even Seattle. This pretty much leaves the South, who have no MLS teams and no soccer specific Stadiums, and parts of the Heartland/Midwest, which coincidentally is Columbus and KC.

    What this article is trying to say in an albeit round-about manner, is that we should not consider any cities when these venues would be close to a population center that would have ..gasp.. a heavy portion of Latinos who may or may not root for the US.

    Seattle has a descent and large stadium, a cadre of rabid football fans and a burgeoning latino Community, but I bet if you were to have ANY WC qualifier against ANY team, you would get a sold out stadium 60,000 plus rabid US fans who would drown out opposing football population of any immigrant group.

    My point is is that KC and Columbus according to the article are proposing to be the “de facto” home of the US team with ties against Mexican and Central American teams because they are nice stadiums with raucous US football fans, BUT not said but obvious, is they are also away from population centers with large concentrations of immigrant/ Latino fans.

    If the USMNT would offer a tighter ticket distribution policy, ie., tickets through USMNT supporters groups and team MLS supporters. limiting resales and other targeted sales, THE US Soccer Federation could hold WCQ at any US venue it wanted, and still have a raucous and loud US crowd. The USSC could have had more fans, just as loud in a better stadium against Jamaica as there are so few immigrants from these nations that there would be np chance of having, let’s say, a huge Jamaican crown at the Home Depot Centre.

    YOU NEED to have important WCQ in LARGE MEDIA MARKETS to make US football grow, No offense, but hiding them in Columbus and to a lesser extent in KC, because they are “good luck” puts the USMNT at a disadvantage when they need to perform against a hostile crowds in hostile stadiums. JK has done wonders, beating Mexico in Azteca, beating Italy in Italy and taking the US out of its comfort zone to improve the team. No one likes having the majority of the crowd against them, especially if you are the home team. But Going into a shell, avoiding major media markets because you are afraid of adverse crown turnouts is self-defeating.

  30. DJ says:

    We’re not talking about raw demographics, we’re talking about demos (actual folks through the turnstiles) at LSP. Again, not even close to a “pro-Mexico” crowd.

  31. Shane says:

    Ives is laying down the gaunlet for KC fans. I dont know if people realize this but at the US – Jamaica match in Columbus the entire stadium stood on their feet for the whole match, not just the AO, Crew and SA sections. I’m not sure you’ll get that in KC but I hope they prove me wrong.

    As far as the lack of bells and whistles at Crew Stadium that is part of the history of the stadium that is important. Lamar Hunt built that stadium with his own money and was taking a huge risk when no one else would. Bells and Whistles? We dont need no stinking bells and whistles.

  32. Spank says:

    Your comment is as big as Ives’ article! Sorry I didn’t read your comment.

  33. Sarasota says:

    Do not forget Jacksonville, FL! Amazing support there! My clear choice for one of the venues.

  34. Seriously says:

    It does kinda matter. For our defacto national stadium to look like an erector set is pretty embarasing. LSP is a gem Crew Stadium is a dump.

  35. Shane says:

    Where do you get this information regarding immigrants in the midwest or are you just stereotyping? There are plenty of Latino immigrants in Ohio and KC. I was at the last US – Mexico WC qualifier in Columbus and it was probably 30 – 40% Mexican fans. The difference was they didnt drown out the US fans, and it was a party atmosphere with both sets of supporters being respectful of each other. You will get a healthy Mexican crowd at any location in this country but the litmus test is if you get a homefield advantage.

    Ohio is loaded with immigrants so stop implying some sort of racist agenda on behalf of Columbus and KC. Have you ever taken a look at the fans in the Crew supporters section ? Also Ohio is home to eastern large populations of eastern european immigrants do they not count cause they’re not Latino.

    Having WCQ matches in the midwest described as “going into a shell” is one of the most elitist, ignorant and intolerant things I’ve read in a while.

  36. ctmo says:

    agreed DJ. What nobody has mentioned is the large percentage of season ticket holders that SKC has. These folks will have first shot at tickets and are largely (90%+) USA fans. Also, the FO in KC is very generous in working work supporters groups like the American Outlaws.

  37. THomas says:

    Having the entire stadium standing the entire match doesn’t make for a better atmosphere. It just makes it annoying for the 6 year old kid and 5’4″ lady sitting behind you in the general sections.

  38. Magellan says:

    Distance from London UK to Columbus = 3,356 Nautical Miles
    Distance from London UK to Seattle = 4,173 Nautical Miles
    Distance from London UK to KC = 3,774 Nautical Miles

    Distance from Frankfurt to Columbus = 3,565 Nautical Miles
    Distance from Frankfurt to Seattle = 4,420 Nautical Miles
    Distance from Frankfurt to KC = 4,086 Nautical Miles
    (source: happyzebra.com/distance-calculator

    Is distance really the issue with Seattle? Time zones is more likely than distance. The diff is between 400 and 900 nautical miles.

  39. Christian says:

    I have to agree with some of you on here that Seattle needs a shot at a WCQ match. I bet a grass field could be placed on top of the existing turf field in order to accomodate FIFA regulations. Seattle fans would exceed 60,000+ and it would be a PRO-USA crowd at that. Maybe a good test run would be against an opponent from the Caribbean? When we think of Azteca Stadium, we all have a sense of fear about our MNT getting a positive result there. I feel like Seattle would also create that hostile environment for opponents.

  40. Tim says:

    It was still unmatched in Columbus in regards to atmosphere. Don’t even try to downplay it, you will sound dumb.

  41. Old School says:

    LSP is, easily, the best soccer venue we have in the country.

    That includes everything: facilities, fan support and pitch quality.

    There’s zero question: best in our country.

  42. Joel says:

    Never been to LSP. But I did get pitchside before the 9/11 WCQ in CCW and the pitch looked immaculate. Made me proud.

  43. Ezra says:

    I think you completely missed bottlcap’s point. Sure having a majority pro-US crowd might make it a bit easier for the US to beat Mexico, but it doesn’t help with the long term goal of improving US soccer. Sure we might qualify for the WC, but what happens if we meet Brazil in the WC (or Uruguay or Argentina who will also probably have good support)? Playing Mexico in Azteca, and Italy in Italy is what will help improve the team for those situations. And secondly having the team play in the larger metro areas will increase media awareness of the sport as a whole, which is also good not just for the future of the US national team, but MLS as well. Having them play in smaller markets like Columbus and KC (and also some of the suggestions like Portland and Seattle, just so you know I’m not disparaging the midwest) does not increase media awareness, it just makes it easier for them to ignore it.

  44. Dimidri says:

    So don’t have a qualifier against those nations then-Chicago has a super small population of Jamaicains, Panamanians, Canadian’s don’t matter (Detroit game perfect example)-have one of those qualifiers. If hex=US, Jamaica, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, I’d do-

    Mexico-Columbus
    Costa Rica-Kansas City
    Canada-LA/Houston
    Panama-Salt Lake City
    Jamaica-Chicago

  45. Dimidri says:

    It sucks we’ve gotten to the point where we make decisions on cities openly based on how few non-black minorities they have…not saying it doesn’t make sense or that history hasn’t proven it necessary, just sad that is the decision calculus.

  46. Areader43 says:

    Jeld-Wen is going to be widened to 74yds at the start of next year. The stadium has the FIFA 2 star rating.

  47. SilverRey says:

    I agree that being the first SSS in the US leads it to be a little outdated nowadays, but you talk to any MLSer or USMNT who has played on that field and they will tell you that the field quality is the best in the MLS. The grounds crew for the Crew is top notch, go back and watch the game interviews – all the players talk up the field…. in addition to the atmosphere!

  48. D says:

    Best soccer stadium in the US? I thought you played at the Seahawks stadium?? That’s a football stadium, Livestrong is the best soccer specific stadium in the hemisphere and probably will be for at least the next 5 years.

  49. bottlcaps says:

    No, I was careful not to imply the selections were racist, just that the selection of Columbus and KC were not close to major metro’s with very large Hispanic populations. The Hispanic populations in KC and Columbus are minor compared to cities like Chicago, and the major populous states like Florida, California, Texas. Columbus and KC DO NOT choose the venues to host the WCQ,they only bid for the right, the selector is the USSF, who by no means have any agenda other that to host a good competition that gives an edge to the USMNT. BUT they may ultimately coddle the USMNT to the point it needs to rely on the NEED for not only a home field advantage, but a large raucous, rabid fan base to win key matches. Teams that get into this “comfort zone” may end up doing poorly in away or even neutral venues.

  50. The USMNT’s purpose should be to promote the sport nationwide, so selecting a designated National Stadium (or preferred ground in this case) I think is a bad idea. It does not help increase the visibility of the game across the nation. Spread games throughout the nation, in all areas (NW, California, SW, Midwest, South, East, SE). As a Northwesterner I’m sad that the USMNT has not had a game in the Pacific NW since 2009 (qualifier or friendly). There is seriously something wrong with that. No wonder we Pacific NWers are talking about having our own “Cascadian National Team.” No love from the USMNT.

  51. Chaz says:

    They need to make the USA vs Mexico game in Arizona if you know what i mean lol

  52. rusty says:

    Seattle won’t be getting any games.. We don’t wear enough red for Gulati

  53. Mug says:

    What is the capacity of LSP vs. Crew stadium?

  54. Skeeter says:

    You gotta factor in the current schedule this season.. Over an 8 day period there will be 4 games played at CL. Estimated attendance figures at close to 250K. Can a USMNT compete with that when the cost of installing grass and other perks come in to the picture?

    Gulati lets the networks set the time zones. It’s quite the expense to justify sending the ESPN satelite trucks to southern Alaska

  55. divers suck says:

    So by your own convoluted logic, USMNT games should only be played in NYC, LA and Chicago because everywhere else is too “small of a market”? Sounds to me like you are, in fact, diparaging the midwest and northwest.

  56. mglnbea says:

    LSP, you’re a gorgeous and talented lady, but Crew Stadium, you had me at “the USA has never lost in Columbus”!!!

  57. Adam says:

    I feel that I need to chime in here a little bit. I was at the last WCQ against Mexico in Columbus and I now live in KC and am a season ticket holder.

    1. Yes the crowd was about as pro US as you can get in columbus. But I was at that game and let me say that by sheer numbers the crowd was 50% for the US and 50% for mexico. So by no means is the demographics of the city the only factor (though it contributes

    2. Case in point, when I was in Columbus I asked a mexican supporter where he was from (I had traveled from Kentucky and figured that was a decent distance.) He said he was from Mexico. I assumed that was his heritage and I said “No, where did you travel from to come to the game?” and he said, “Mexico.”

    3. I think that a good season ticket holder base is more just as important and LSP has that. And having been to both Crew stadium and LSP, the atmosphere is WAAAY better at LSP. The stadium has covered seating all the way around and holds in the sound, the sight lines are much better, and the seats are right on top of the field. For me personally there is room for both yes, but if I had to choose one, it is a no brainer, LSP!

  58. Adam says:

    And yes I have four tickets to the upcoming game, GO US!

  59. Um bryan, those demographics are completely wrong for Kansas City Metro, you are missing a WHOLE county in Kansas, Johnson County to be exact which consists of 552,000 people and many more counties surrounding the metro!! I don’t know where you got that information but its wrong, the KC metro alone is 2.1 Million people, according to your calculations its only about 600000………… Can you explain?

  60. smokeminside says:

    This is one of the single dumbest posts I’ve seen here.

  61. Call Up Lichaj says:

    No. It’s not.

    Pragmatism doesn’t “suck.”

    Why should 80% of US WCQ matches be de facto away games?

  62. Ezra says:

    No, I’m disparaging small markets. It has nothing to do with where it is located. There are lots of markets that I think are too small in the Northeast, South, and Southwest that I didn’t mention because nobody had suggested them.

  63. Ezra says:

    Oh and I’m not saying that all games should be played in those 3. Just that the US shouldn’t be afraid to play some games in big cities just because they are worried about the percentage of pro-US fans.

  64. Capt. Obvious says:

    Yep. It’s call GRASS.

  65. Call Up Lichaj says:

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned how the passion of fans in places like KC/Columbus compensates for media market size disadvantages. A bigger city isn’t necessarily a better venue. Pro sports teams have always struggled in Florida, for example. LA hasn’t been able to keep an NFL team. European fans have nothing on those from KC, Columbus and other “smaller” places.

    Plus SKC, in particular, draws large numbers of fans from Omaha and St. Louis, in addition to the KC area. I assume a lot of fans from Cleveland/Cincy/Pittsburgh/Indy drive to Columbus regularly. A huge event like a WCQ will accentuate this.

    On a fairly unrelated note, I hope both MLS and the USSF start expanding their reach to the Southeast. Soccer is huge in many areas there. To my knowledge, matches in Nashville have been successful. Cary (suburb of Raleigh) already has that huge soccer complex. Charlotte would also be a great soccer city. Cities with only one or two other pro sports franchises seem to be perfect for MLS clubs.

    Quite a few soccer fans in the Southeast don’t pay much attention to MLS because no team is even remotely close–DC or Houston!

  66. Rlw2020 says:

    I can’t wait to visit LSP and see how great this place is. I like how the US will always travel around to home venues and there should never be a single national stadium.

    Assuming we get thru i hope to see Seattle and or Portland host a qualifier, its been a long time since they hosted a big US game and their support for club games is a huge home feild advantage. Other venues for qualifing should be: BBVA in Houston, looks like a cool stadium and in Dempsey’s home state, Home Depot Center in Carson (vs Jamaica or Canada no central american nations!), PPL Park, LS Park and Crew Stadium.

  67. Tyler says:

    Cary Soccer Complex is/was/soon to be (not sure which) under renovation and even after this its maximum capacity will be around 10-12,000. Just enough for NASL which is where NC is in terms of soccer support. Charlotte to me is a better Atlanta in terms of fan support. You need a strong grass roots program to grow the game there. That means a strong NASL/USL base before MLS gives it a sniff.

  68. David JS says:

    it’s America, dude. Everyone is an immigrant. Some of those immigrants still heavily support their country of origin’s sports teams. World Cup qualifying is done by regions. You do the math. It doesn’t “suck” anymore than Mexican immigrants choosing to still support Mexico sucks (or any country for that matter). That is to say that it doesn’t suck at all. It’s different, yes, but that’s because America is different. If we had to play Italy in WC qualifying, we wouldn’t play in NYC. If we had to play Poland to qualify, we wouldn’t play in Chicago. It doesn’t suck, it’s just the way it is.

  69. Shawn says:

    Turf cannot be overcome for WCQ. They would have to drop a natural grass field on top for each and every qualifier. That would make them a money-losing proposition off the top.

    Never going to happen as long as they play there. I love the atmosphere at C-Link too. But it’s not.

  70. Shawn says:

    Exactly, SKC ticket holders and people on the mailing list sold THIS game out ahead of time through the pre-sale. Mexico fans wouldn’t even get a chance to sniff at it.

    LSP is an amazing venue, and I’ve been to a few of them now. No place in the country I’d rather see a footy match.

  71. Flappy headed Canadian says:

    Can I finish? Can I finish? OK I’m finished…

  72. PD says:

    Magellan. I saw what you did there.

  73. Bram Binsky says:

    Columbus ohio has more going for it than just a good history of success in WCQ and a Soccer specfic stadium.

    Columbus, Ohio is within 500 miles, of 147.5 million persons or 47.76% of the population of the United States.

    Add to that a small latin population and its no wonder it’s been so succesful. I’m sure kansas city will be a great venue but it makes it less convienent travel for east coast fans from New York, Philly, Boston etc…

  74. Aaron in StL says:

    Would have to agree… I’d put the stadium experience up against any other in the US in any sport. They did an amazing job with that place, should be a great one on 10/16

  75. Tractor says:

    “It would mean an approximately 1,200-mile shorter commute (round trip) to major national team matches for fans from at least half the country.”

    I’m afraid that quote from the article makes little sense. Moving the site a little closer to one coast of course will make it a bit shorter “commute” for residents of that coast, but BY DEFINITION, it makes the commute an equivalent amount longer from the other coast, so isn’t it a wash from that perspective?

    I agree with the posters who note that fans from one coast or the other probably won’t see travelling to one of those two cities versus the other as a major difference.

  76. Rob says:

    KC may be in the middle of the country geographically, but Columbus is within 8 hours driving distance of 47.76% of the population. KC has just over half of that number at 25.12%.

  77. Rob says:

    Dangit!!! Bram Binsky!

  78. Rob says:

    Incidentally, Portland and Seattle are at 5.8% and 4.4% respectively.

  79. NC Jeff says:

    Fact is, we need more than one “friendly home” … EXACTLY!

    We are unlike ANY other country – a true melting pot. Therefore, at least for must-win games, the USMNT ought not play Mexico in Houston, Poland in Chicago, Costa Rica in LA, Canada in Detroit, Ireland in Boston, Cuba in Miami, or anyone in NYC.

  80. Thatpageguy says:

    When it comes to fan support, the US used to do very well at RFK in DC. Although not soccer specific and an older stadium, there used to be terrific crowds there. Here’s another angle not considered. The US should train at altitude and then hold qualifiers at Dicks Sporting Goods Park outside of Denver. When playing sea level teams like Jamaica, by the last 15 minutes we would have a definite advantage. Also, it would help the US prepare for games at Azteca. Denver also has the advantage of being a hub airport.

  81. Bram says:

    Thanks for your support. we wre on the same wave length I just got there first. I’ll buy you a beer if you come to columbus for USA Vs, Mexico!

  82. abc says:

    Seattle and Portland fans need to push for real grass instead of turf. Otherwise STFU because you’re not getting meaningful games.