Did you know, second only to Venice, Italy; Kansas City, Missouri has the most fountains in the world? Hence the nickname ‘City of Fountains’; while it can be easy to be caught up in the several different cross-cultural experiences of the metropolitan area, this final post; out of a three part series designated to the WPSL, expansion, and the idea of women’s soccer reaching into the center of the United States.
This final piece is designated to be focused aim right at the development of a team inside the Kansas City metroplex.
Before diving into details, it is essential that an outside reader is aware of the unique structure of Kansas City.
The metro area sits along the Missouri River, spilling over into two states; Missouri and Kansas. Hence the creation of Kansas City, Missouri [KCMO] and Kansas City, Kansas [KCK]. When including all outlying suburban areas, this population total of this metroplex is near, if not slightly above one million people. Factor in a multitude of colleges from the junior college level all the way to NCAA Division I schools, several area high schools, a professional men’s soccer team [Sporting KC] with their new stadium, the Big XII athletic conference moving their women’s soccer tournament to Livestrong Sporting Park starting in 2013, hosting world cup qualifiers in the past two decades; even most recently hosting the USA Women’s National Team’s friendly against Canada in September of 2011 in front of 16,000 fans.
Kansas City is quickly becoming or improving its status as a soccer city as the years go by. Understand that there are still several professional sports teams in the area:
NFL: Kansas City Chiefs
MLB: Kansas City Royal
MISL: Missouri Comets
MLS: Sporting KC
Plus several semi-professional programs as well, including a rather intriguing and popular hockey team.
Only the MLS program is in KCK, the rest are in KCMO.
Let’s focus a bit on KCK. It is broken into two primary countries; Wyandotte County [north], where Sporting KC and Livestrong Sporting Park exists, and Johnson County [south], where the Overland Park Soccer Complex exists [they have heated soccer fields to play on during the winter], and it also happens to be the wealthiest county in the United States [fun fact, right]. If you travel a standard high school in KCMO, you’ll find a football field that gets converted to a soccer field for a few months out of the year [as long as it doesn’t interfere with football], when you travel to KCK, you find the soccer fields by themselves, away from the football fields.
Funding does a lot.
After careful consideration; there is a desire to place a women’s premier soccer league team [WPSL] in Kansas City, Kansas. Understand that one has to start small in order to expect excellence. The WPS ‘folding’ [I use that term lightly] was one of the better things to happen for this potential program. With the potential ‘elite’ division taking place in WPSL, the opportunity to ignite the desire within the Kansas City to strive to a greater potential then just an amateur team is well recognized.
Understand that below is once again, a ‘rough draft’ of the concept of a WPSL in KC. Under no circumstances is it guaranteed, and there are still several questions to answer. However, before the questions fly, let’s address the first, major concern.
After reviewing the recent budget outlook for western and eastern divisional WPSL teams; obtained by WPSL websites, albeit a bit out of date, it was decided by myself and a group of individuals that we’d like to set our budget high; $50,000. Here are the reasons why:
- Travel: Currently Des Moines and Northwest Arkansas are the closest teams to play. It is guaranteed that Kansas City would have some substantial traveling, whether they end up competing with the likes of Wisconsin and Illinois, or with Oklahoma and Texas. One way or another, we’re going to be on the road…a lot [partially why the GPD is needed in the following year].
- Facilities: While there are several areas to play within the KCK area, all come with a price tag. While it’d be delectable to play at the Overland Park Soccer Complex, the price tag associated with it; not to fond of. Thankfully, with many colleges and high schools there is the potential for other options.
- Coaches: One goal that has been set in my own mind from the beginning is the payment of coaches. Coming from a person who was a coach that was never paid, I can’t express the commitment that I’m set on ensuring that our coaching staff is paid. I’m not saying thousands of dollars, but their hard work, and most importantly their dedication towards the creation of something great, should be rewarded by the ‘front office’.
Upfront it is evident that traveling is going to be the costly section of the team operations, with the other two coming up. Therefore, the question on everyone’s mind [including my own] is figuring out where the $50,000 is going to come from [if only thin air was more rewarding].
While I’m not a fan of the NFL, I am a fan of honesty, especially when it comes to business; and the fans of a team. People deserve to know the financial truth of a team. Yes, I have a ‘open book’ policy. That’s why in order to fund this program; we’re placing that ‘responsibility’ or ‘honor’ on the ‘consumer’. Still making sense?
We need $50,000 within this year. To do so, we’ve devised a system where that $50,000 has been broken down into 100 shares, $500 apiece. A business [or individual] may purchase as many ‘shares’ as they would like [i.e. 3 shares=$1500]. Because of that, when the time comes to make decisions on the future of the team, development, expansion, coaches, etc…voting of the investors takes place. 1 share=1 vote; simple as that. Meaning, the more an individual invests into the team, the more they are able to voice their opinion on the control of the team. The belief is that if one places more money into a program they have a tendency to have a stronger desire to see that program succeed.
The challenge is by acknowledging that within the first year there is not a profit to be made, in fact, turning a profit within women’s soccer is extremely difficult anyways. However, especially with the businesses that purchase shares, the marketing potential for those companies increase with jersey sponsorship, board displays along the field, game day brochures, etc…you’re paying for additionally marketing. If you can bring in a 1,000 fans [big number, I’m aware of that], that is 2,000 [hopefully] set of eyes looking at your company and the support you place in your community.
Step One: Budget
Next Step: Metro League