Thousands brave bitter cold temps to cheer on Sporting KC - KCTV5

Thousands brave bitter cold temps to cheer on Sporting KC

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It sure was cold for Sporting Kansas City taking on the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night at Sporting Park.

With a 2-1 win in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Championship, Sporting KC will advance to the MLS Cup for the first time since 2004.

Thousands of fans braved the freezing temperatures to cheer on Sporting KC, and to help them stay warm, crews at Sporting Park brought in a little extra help.

"We put a bunch of jackets on, and we've got gloves and hand-warmers and scarves and hats and all different kinds of crazy things," Maddy Pilarz said.

Major League Soccer says the match was the league's coldest since they started keeping track in 2003.  So Sporting KC added a few perks to help fans stay warm.

Die-hard fans lined up hours before kick off, and because of the weather, gates opened early to get people inside.  The early arrivals layered and knocked the cold away.

"Drink plenty of fluids.  It is gonna be a scorcher," Brian Morris laughed.

By game time, the stadium was packed with fans showing their team pride in anything warm with a Sporting KC logo.

But there was another trick to surviving the cold.

"Alcohol and chili," fan Courtney Sullivan said.

The concessions added chili stands and hot chocolate to give fans something warm to hang on to.

But the biggest fan strategy was just cheering through the cold.  Sporting KC and the Houston Dynamo have a huge rivalry, and Kansas City's win means big things for the city.

"We're growing as a sports-iconic city.  We've got the Chiefs that are 10-1, hopefully tomorrow, the Kansas City Royals, Sporting KC ... so we're doing big things," Jeff Hernandez said.

Saturday was the third year in a row that Sporting KC battled Houston in the playoffs.  The Dynamo won out and made it to the finals the last two years.

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