No longer chiefly a football city

The Kansas City Chiefs are no longer the most favored team in Kansas City. We are well on our way to becoming a multi-sport city. When the Chiefs won the Super Bowl in 1969, Kansas City (KC) found its first competitive sports team to follow. Through the next decade, Kansas City was a football town until 1985 when the Kansas City Royals won the World Series. Baseball gained the support of KC sports fans, transforming the “Land of the Free, Home of the Chiefs” into a baseball town. However, eventuallythe past achievements of both the Royals and the Chiefs muddled the Kansas City sports identity. Then, because both teams failed to win another title for decades, KC lost its sports identity altogether. Fans were confused. Was it a football town or a baseball town?

This question was answered some decades later in 2013 by neither a baseball nor football team but a newly rebranded soccer team: Sporting Kansas City (Sporting KC). Following the change from the Kansas City Wizards to Sporting KC, and, shortly after hiring ex-player Peter Vermes as the head coach, Sporting KC started a sports revolution in the city and throughout the nation. SKC won a Major League Soccer (MLS) Championship title in 2013, increasing the team’s preliminary support. This win meant more for KC than just another title; it signaled a change in the sports dynamic of the city. A sense of lost identity regarding whether KC was city for football or a baseball now seemed to have an answer: KC became a multi-sport city.

All three major teams in KC found success in 2013-2014 seasons: Sporting KC finished 17-10-7, the Royals narrowly finished third in their division at 86-76 and the Chiefs finished with a record of 11-5.

While the idea of KC having a lost sports identity was prevalent event after Sporting’s MLS championship, KC’s identity as a big sports city was ultimately cemented in 2014 with the Royals narrowly losing the World Series after seven games. With attendance increasing each year for the last few years for Sporting and the Royals, and with the Chiefs climbing the average attendance ranks each year in the National Football League, all of the major sports in the City of Fountains are now bigger than ever. Kansas City is now a sports city: for football, baseball and soccer.

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