KCK braces for huge economic impact of soccer center - KCTV5 News

KCK braces for huge economic impact of soccer center

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Kansas City, KS, is bracing for even more growth since a big announcement this week.

The area in west Kansas City, KS, doesn't look like much now, but in 2016 it'll be the brand new U.S. Soccer National Training Center complex, helping to push U.S. soccer forward on the international stage.

Locally, though, it will add to what's already a thriving area of the city, with Sporting KC, Cerner, the Kansas Speedway and Village West anchoring the area.

When it comes to jobs, Village West leads the way, employing nearly 5,700 people. Cerner has more than 4,000 employees and Hollywood Casino has over 1,000.

Greg Kindle, the president of the Wyandotte Economic Development Council said the soccer center will add millions to the local economy, employment and more.

"Brings thousands of new people to the region, so we've got more sales tax, increasing jobs and plus, it also begins moving the developments farther to the east. This will be on the east side of (Interstate) 435 and it really begins to expand tourism and entertainment opportunities for western Wyandotte," Kindle said.

"I think, just in the impact and with soccer taking off in the United States like it is, I think it'll make us a huge hub," said Chuck Smith, the general manager of Country Inn and Suites.

Smith said he knows his hotel will be one of the prime and immediate beneficiaries of the new soccer center.

"With the visitors and just the game from what we've seen from Sporting KC, not even considering this huge complex that's being built, I think it's going to be, from an employee standpoint, and guest coming, it's already booming in this area. But it's a can't lose (situation)," he said.

The U.S. Soccer National Training Center complex is going in at 98th and Parallel Parkway. The 100,000-square-foot facility will include a practice field, eight lighted professional smart fields and eight youth fields. Also included will be a new 125-room hotel.

It will cost about $75 million to turn the site into the soccer complex. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said he expects the economic impact for the state to approach $1 billion.

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