Maybe We Aren’t In Kansas Anymore

Maybe We Aren’t In Kansas Anymore

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On May 7, 2007
  • 2 Comments

Its probably true. I didn’t expect at the start of week six in the MLS that the Kansas City Wizards would be in first place in the east and overall in the league. Four wins and one loss yielding 12 points thanks in large part to the resurgence of Eddie Johnson thanks in large part to new coach Curt Onalfo.

But has anyone noticed?

Does anyone care that the Wizards are led by one of the league’s best in Jimmy Conrad and probably one of the most underrated in Jose Burciaga Jr.? How about that exciting rookie from UNC in Michael Harrington? No? Or does anyone care that between the pipes is one of the league’s most well known keepers Kevin Hartman?

No?

It’s pretty obvious that no one cares so far in Kansas City. Their average attendance so far in two games is a meager 7,432!

Now I know people in KC will argue that one game was a Wednesday night game against expansion side Toronto in the pouring rain and the other was a Saturday afternoon game in 70-degree weather against Columbus (a team that hadn’t lost before).

Believe me I know Arrowhead stadium is a horrible venue for this sport. But in a metropolitan area like KC, you can’t tell me you can’t at least draw 10,000 to a sporting event. Especially on a beautiful 70-degree day.

I’ve seen and heard all of the excuses over the years. The marketing is bad (which it probably is), the weather wasn’t nice enough, I got lost going to Arrowhead…and so on and so on. It gets you thinking just how embarrassing this team is for the league. Leading the league and playing very solid soccer yet they are unable to draw in their home town.

I don’t know how to exactly correct this other than the obvious, getting this team out of Arrowhead.

I’ve said they would probably move but with the new owners they will not let the team leave the city just that easy, which is probably the best thing. I hate seeing teams move, even this one. But there some ideas that could help in the short run and the long run and the league’s front offices need to act on soon before this team just fades away in ever growing Arrowhead Stadium.

Here are some ideas and your suggestions are always welcome (this does not include a stadium…that again is too obvious):

  • Be like FC Dallas and Colorado and build lots and lots of soccer fields for the little kiddies. Believe me, I have seen it in Frisco, the plan works. The more the better really. I know there is land in KC somewhere. It really is true…”if you build it they will come”
  • Market the hell out of this team, there is nothing other than a crappy baseball team to compete with in KC
  • Maybe re-brand this team…let’s face it…what the hell does a Wizard have to do with KC? Oh yeah, disappearing fans
  • Get this team a rival! St. Louis wants a team and they need to get one…let’s face it Chicago, Columbus and Dallas aren’t exactly rivals for this city. Dallas would make sense but since the fan base has stunk it never too off

Those are just a few that came to mind.

What do you think? Does anyone in KC care anymore or are we just beating a dead horse on this issue?

  • cash

    Point number one was turned down by the city last year when KC tried to build a stadium and will be part of any new stadium deal.<br />
    Point number two is being done, its just that marketing takes time and KC is paying the price of no marketing the last 2-3 years.<br />
    Point three, they are waiting on any rebranding (or at least major logo changes and jerseys) for when they move into a new stadium. They technically did <br />
    change the logo this year and got rid of rainbow over the top.<br />
    Point 4 is largely out of KC's hands.<br />
    <br />
    There is a &quot;magic&quot; formula for what went wrong in KC.<br />
    No stadium + a losing record + not one dime spent on marketing for<br />
    over three years = low attendence figures. The new management<br />
    has addressed the marketing in KC. They are spending what it takes<br />
    to get the team to win, e.g. new practice fields and scouting. After a shocking<br />
    vote that no one expected to go the way it did, they did not get a stadium,<br />
    but are still strongly pursuing a new stadium. Most expect something and it is clear they are working hard on this.<br />
    <br />
    It is not KC or the team that is embarressing. It was the ownership job of Hunt Sports Group. This is not to say they should be blamed, they managed to keep the team in KC at least, but<br />
    what we are seeing now is the price KC payed to keep the team up for sale for two years. The atmosphere in KC is much different than in years past and things should only <br />
    improve from here.

  • cash

    Point number one was turned down by the city last year when KC tried to build a stadium and will be part of any new stadium deal.
    Point number two is being done, its just that marketing takes time and KC is paying the price of no marketing the last 2-3 years.
    Point three, they are waiting on any rebranding (or at least major logo changes and jerseys) for when they move into a new stadium. They technically did
    change the logo this year and got rid of rainbow over the top.
    Point 4 is largely out of KC’s hands.

    There is a “magic” formula for what went wrong in KC.
    No stadium + a losing record + not one dime spent on marketing for
    over three years = low attendence figures. The new management
    has addressed the marketing in KC. They are spending what it takes
    to get the team to win, e.g. new practice fields and scouting. After a shocking
    vote that no one expected to go the way it did, they did not get a stadium,
    but are still strongly pursuing a new stadium. Most expect something and it is clear they are working hard on this.

    It is not KC or the team that is embarressing. It was the ownership job of Hunt Sports Group. This is not to say they should be blamed, they managed to keep the team in KC at least, but
    what we are seeing now is the price KC payed to keep the team up for sale for two years. The atmosphere in KC is much different than in years past and things should only
    improve from here.