Family Friendly Guide to Sporting KC Games

A day spent cheering our boys on the Sporting KC pitch is always time well spent. Entertaining for the entire family, taking in a match at Children’s Mercy Park is the perfect afternoon or evening out! For those of us in the midst of little league soccer practices and games, it is also a fantastic way to show our kids the excitement surrounding one of two amazing professional teams to deepen their love for the sport.

Guide to Enjoying a Sporting KC Game with Family

I might have played soccer as a child, but I’ll be the first to admit that the complex rules of the game remain puzzling. Despite my lack of knowledge, my family and I still love to attend Sporting KC games because of the high entertainment factor. The fireworks after a goal is scored, the loud cheering sections, and the new and improved scoreboards and visual effects are a feast for the senses.

Thanks to a smaller seat capacity, as compared to Arrowhead and The K, there’s not a bad seat in the house. The most affordable seats still provide a great view of the players and field. A smart person within the Sporting KC organization (most likely a mom!) has actually taken the time to identify sections in which families might feel the most comfortable, meaning there’s quick access to aisles and restrooms, under the shade and can be purchased affordably. If these factors (and others) are important to you and yours, then make sure to purchase tickets in the Price Chopper South Stand, West Stand or East Stand. Read more about select features and options here.

What to Know Before You Go

Bag Policy

Similar to most stadiums around the country, Sporting KC has adopted a clear bag policy. Although this can be slightly inconvenient, it makes for a much more streamlined security process, eliminating the need to empty purses and pockets. Luckily, there’s an exception for those needing to carry a diaper bag. They have also gone cashless, so make sure to plan accordingly when paying for souvenirs and treats.

Parking

Parking can be a bear. Be prepared to walk or wait to take a shuttle. Spots can be reserved in advance, which may be a smart choice if a long walk is difficult for your family. All information on where to park and how to purchase a spot in advance can be found here.

Food & Drink

Food options are plentiful and diverse, another very important factor when embarking on a family outing. Stands can be accessed quickly from any part of the stadium, and they cater to a range of tastes and needs. Think way beyond the usual hot dog and nachos! Note: there are also vendors with gluten free options, simply ask a stadium worker on how to find specific items.

Fun Zones

Once the game is about to begin, be sure to make your way to the seats in order to enjoy the fireworks. With the music, the fan energy and the display, it’s an exciting thing to watch and be a part of, for any age. Booths and child-centered activities can be found close to the entrance before and during most home matches, allowing for little ones to run, play a pick up game with other tiny fans and run the wiggles out before sitting for the match.

Need to stretch legs and run off some energy? There’s a grassy area and an adorable kid-sized soccer field close to the main entrance. The area is perfect for grabbing dessert and letting little legs run wild.

If you are feeling extra adventurous, purchase tickets in “The Cauldron,” also known as the Supporters Stand where the fans are boisterous and the people watching is extraordinary! The clapping, the costumes and the chants will keep everyone involved, entertained and off their bums most of the game. When choosing to purchase tickets here, you will also have access to an indoor area where fans gather. It affords you shorter lines for snacks and drinks. The seats, however, are not assigned, instead are first come, first serve. Please note, this section is a better choice for those with older children/teenagers who don’t mind hearing a few “choice words” throughout the game and can handle standing for long periods of time.

Tips for Families with Babies and Toddlers

Attending a sporting event with a baby or toddler requires an entirely different level of organization. Be prepared by knowing these important pieces of information.

  • Stadium workers will gladly escort you to any First Aid Suite for a quiet place to feed your babies.
  • The only drinks allowed in the park are bottles of milk or formula. Water bottles of any kind are only permitted if the heat index reaches a certain level.
  • Strollers are only allowed in the main concourse of the stadium, not near the seats. Guest services will gladly check them at any Fan Services kiosk. The check in and out process has always been a breeze for us.
  • Young children may obtain a free ID wristband personalized with their seat location from Fan Services kiosks, near Sections 101 and 131.
  • If this is your first time visiting the park, head to a Guest Services tent and your children will receive a pin commemorating the event!

Enjoy your next outing supporting our local soccer club! Cheer loud and proud.

Kristin Ruthstrom
Kristin is a Lee’s Summit suburb transplant, after living in the Brookside and Plaza areas for over eight years. Raising three young boys with her husband, Jake, has helped her to embrace the messy, wild side of life where love is expressed in bear hugs and body slams. Professionally, she can be found teaching classes as an adjunct professor in the areas of Business, Marketing and PR. She is able to provide her students with applicable, real-life knowledge as she draws from several years working in the corporate sector. “Free time” (ha!, what's that again?) is spent on an occasional date night to favorite local restaurants, reading blogs on everything from home design to politics, riding her sweet beach cruiser bike and thinking of ways to convince her husband to do yet another home improvement project.

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