The late Lamar Hunt will be remembered on Thursday night when Kansas City's MLS team, Sporting Kansas City, takes the field for the first time in their new soccer-specific stadium on Thursday evening. Players will honor their former owner with a tag inside their jersey that reads: "Lamar Hunt: Legendary Sportsman And Entrepreneur. Forever Our Founder."
Chiefs owner Clark Hunt talked to the KC Star this week about the opening of Sporting KC's new stadium on Thursday, and the impact his father, Lamar, had on the team.
"He very much wanted the team to stay in Kansas City," said his son Clark Hunt, the Chiefs' chairman and owner of FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew. "I think he knew long term it would take a soccer-specific stadium to make that a reality. The OnGoal guys were the perfect group to develop a plan for a stadium and get it executed."
I remember watching an old documentary on Lamar Hunt and the rise of the AFL and, eventually, the NFL and one of the things they noted at the time was that, for the sport to truly grow, you needed stadiums for the teams. It appears he used the same philosophy when talking about the rise of soccer.
The KC Star also notes that the Hunts had a number of opportunities to sell the team to owners that would take the team out of Kansas City but they declined in order to keep them in town.