Children’s Mercy Park

Kansas City, Kansas

  • Services

    Architecture, Urban Design, Interior Design, Brand Activation

  • Typologies

    Stadiums

  • Building Activities

    American Football, Concerts, Soccer

  • Location

    North America

  • Completion

    2011

CHALLENGE. Children’s Mercy Park was a second chance to make a first impression. After 15 years of playing games in ill-suited venues, the new soccer-specific stadium would allow Sporting Kansas City to redefine its organization and set a path toward long-term sustained growth and success.

Ownership was clear about one thing: their passion for innovation drove an interest well beyond creating just another Major League Soccer stadium. They wanted something that would radically change the notion of soccer stadium design.

INNOVATION. Based on the concept of stop-motion photography, the design of Children’s Mercy Park captures movement and motion by celebrating both the body and the ball. The building’s exterior of repeating angular metal fins represent the ‘body’ or, in other words, players’ athleticism and movement on the field.

  • Children’s Mercy Park has a 40-foot elevation change across its entire footprint.

The signature 145,000-square-foot roof canopy, meanwhile, mimics the long floating arc of a soccer ball as it soars across the field. From high to low point, the roof arcs from 65 feet to 95 feet. Its panels create an intimate scale and amplify crowd noise, while the polycarbonate material lets sunlight penetrate through to the pitch.

Sporting KC’s desire to create a fan-oriented experience was brought to life through various club spaces where fans can interact with players. We designed a year-round sports bar with input from and dedicated for the soccer team’s most passionate supporters – a first of its kind in Major League Soccer.

IMPACT. The soccer community’s reaction has been universal: Children’s Mercy Park is iconic, fun, intimate, authentic and awe‐inspiring. In bringing to bear all of our global soccer knowledge, the team’s goals of a completely authentic stadium were realized. Conceptual and logistical challenges inspired a design solution that established a new benchmark for mid‐sized stadiums in the United States, if not the world.

This stadium certainly has raised the bar. It's set a new height for what soccer stadiums can be in the future.

Don Garber / Major League Soccer Commissioner
Facts and Figures
Capacity
18,467
Site size
14 acres
Roof canopy size
145,000 square feet
Suites
36
Awards
2014
Best Stadium Experience in MLS | Stadium Journey
2012
Venue of the Year | TheStadiumBusiness Awards
2012
Community Award | TheStadiumBusiness Awards
2012
Sports Facility of the Year Finalist | SportsBusiness Journal
2011
Excellence in Structural Engineering Award | SEAKM
Project Team

Brad Albers

Jeff Spear

Jodee Remy Smith

Jon Knight

Michael Ray

Mitchell Brown

Myron Chase