There’s No City Like Kansas City

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Way back when, in 2012, when the NWSL was announced and Kansas City was going to be one of the teams, the very first supporters group was formed. They called themselves the Blue Crew and I was all-in. The fact that I lived 600 miles away didn’t even enter the equation, I was going to have a pro women’s soccer team to support!

I’ve supported teams in all of the pro women’s leagues, but this was different. I could actually attend these games. I mean what’s a 9+ hour drive one way? Piece of cake for someone who likes to drive like me. So I scoured the internet for information. I bought season tickets. I kept in the loop for the supporters group. I was seriously all-in.

That was then, this is now. The FC Kansas City Blues are no more. No more long rides through Kansas. No more tailgates. No more bleacher seats and blazing sun. No more meet ups with a supporters group who accepted me even though I was old enough to be the mother of many of them.

It is very hard to accept that the city FCKC represented doesn’t want them. A city that wants to be known as “Soccer City, USA” can’t be bothered to fight to keep a team that has won championships while bearing their name. FC Kansas City. Doesn’t get more Kansas City than that.

I’m disappointed, and sad, and angry. I feel let down by the powers that be, by the league owners who supposedly vetted the owner that couldn’t be bothered to properly support the team he bought. By the people of Kansas City who couldn’t bother to show up for 2 hours on the day to show a little love to the team. By the other pro sports teams in KC who already have their share of the big pie yet couldn’t be bothered to share a crumb with FCKC. I’m sad for the truly dedicated people who worked for the team who really gave it their all to make this work. There are some really good people in the trenches who I hope can find a place in WoSo to keep doing what they do with such passion.

And I’m angry. Oh, am I angry. At everything..and nothing. At fans who didn’t show up, and advertisers who didn’t either. I’m angry that some guy with a checkbook bought the team and then hung them out to dry. At the owners who thought this was a good guy to sell a team to, to entrust with the livelihood of the players and the hearts of the fans. At SKC who could have done more to partner (not own) with FCKC to further both their interests, but didn’t. At every person who has ever said that women’s sports are less than. Tell that to the people who are losing their team and the people who are losing their jobs.

I’d like to thank every person who has been involved with FCKC. Every one. You made my experience unique and one I won’t forget.

And to KC Blue Crew – you all will hold a special place in my heart for your acceptance and your dedication to this team and this city.

I fell in love with FC Kansas City for many reasons and for as many reasons their demise breaks my heart.

#TNCLKC

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A L💙VE LETTER

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My Dearest FC Kansas City,

We met over five years ago. Me, a long time enthusiast looking for a team to love and you, a new team full of heart and enticing promise. It wasn’t love at first sight, not for me anyway. You were young, inexperienced and distant. All qualities that should have sent up red cards, but there was something about your willingness to reach out that drew me in. I played along willing to see where this could go, encouraged by your commitment to grow and keep trying to be better than yesterday. Our relationship became one of comfort and stability, mutual respect and fondness. Not the stuff of steamy romance novels but more like nights spent on the couch watching rom-coms.

I was happy, but something was missing. Even though you brought me the stars it just wasn’t enough. I wanted more. I wanted you to recognize our relationship for what it was. To be open and honest about who I was to you. For four years I waited..and waited..and waited..and waited. I dropped hints, then I dropped some more. I went public with my disappointment all the while hoping that my choice to stay committed to you was the right one. Then it happened.

You had a major change in attitude, you decided I was as important to you as you were to me. You finally saw me for who I truly am.  I would like to think you’ve loved me all along, but I can’t go that far. But you love me now. Openly. Freely. And that is the most important. Sometimes the journey is a long one, but the destination is all worth it.

So my dear FCKC – owners, staff, coaches, players, volunteers – I love you. Without reservation. Without equivocation. Entirely. To be recognized as who I am is all I’ve hoped for over this long courtship. You have my heart.

 

Openly yours,

Diane

 

 

Yes, I Don’t Agree With You..Sometimes

I don’t know when agreeing with someone on twitter became a requirement of use, so since I missed the memo, I’ll continue to tweet my opinion. And NEWS FLASH! It may not agree with yours. – Diane

Recently two topics came up in NWSL that I’ve gotten a LOT of push back on:

  1. Houston expansion
  2. FCKC change of venue

HOUSTON EXPANSION.

You can try (and have tried) to convince me expansion to HOUSTON in 2014 is a good thing. I have no doubt HOUSTON will be a good market. My issue is, and always will be, with timing, lack of transparency and USSF going back on their word and what message that sends to future expansion teams and sponsors. It is my opinion. It may not be yours, but I’m OK with that.

FCKC CHANGE OF VENUE

Most NWSL teams will benefit from a change of venue. Boston Breakers upgrading to Harvard is a good example. Better access, onsite parking and more seats being just a few of the benefits. Notice I said “upgrade”?

I do not see FCKC’s move as such an upgrade. I have read the story on their site and although it seems like a very nice facility it isn’t necessarily an upgrade in my eyes. The most glaring thing to me is the loss of many seats. FCKC average attendance varies a little depending on who you read, but I feel comfortable with about 4300 per home game. UMKC WILL (does not currently) seat 3200. My math says that is 1100 fewer than average, not even taking into account the highest drawing games. Six home games is 6600 tickets. What team in their right mind would give up 6600 tickets? If this revenue is being replaced or increased they sure as hell haven’t said where or how. Until they do, I think it’s not the right move.

And what about those 1100 fans per game who will no longer get the “enhanced game day experience”? How are they being rewarded for being there from day one? “Oops! We really appreciated you in 2013, but it’s 2014 and we don’t think we need you so much this year. Good luck and we’ll hope to see you in maybe 2016 when we really do upgrade. Buh-bye, now. Oh, one more thing, we might have a live stream of the game you can watch, maybe. Or we might even be on TV for a game or 2, if you’re lucky and get that channel, so don’t get distracted by the thousand other things vying for your attention, because we’ll be right here and we’ll call you when we need you again.”

Also, in relation to both topics, please don’t argue it’s all about money with Houston Dash expansion and then say money isn’t important with FCKC change of venue. Money is ALWAYS important

I’m not crazy or unreasonable. I listen to everyone’s opinion. I read soccer media. I follow teams and players and owners and pundits. I form my own opinions and Yes, I don’t agree with you..sometimes.

If you’d like to discuss these 2 topics in the comments, I’d be glad to hear your side.