On Thursday afternoon, Major League Soccer announced Kansas City and LIVESTRONG Sporting Park will host the 2013 MLS All-Star Game on July 31. The opponent has not yet been announced.
The selection of Kansas City and LIVESTRONG Sporting Park is a reward to the community that helped construct the $200 million jewel of a stadium and for the fans who have packed it since it opened in mid-2011.
"This market has just been so incredibly exciting for all of us at Major League Soccer and really for soccer fans throughout the United States and North America," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. "This has been one of the great, great success stories for our sport. We're very proud of what's taken place here."
Sporting Kansas City Team President Robb Heineman was quick to give fans credit for the event. “It's a present from the fans to me, frankly," Heineman said. "That's the way I look at it, because they're the reason that we get games like this. It's not because of us."
Thursday's announcement marks the latest in a series of special events awarded to LSP, which has already hosted men's World Cup and Olympic qualifying matches, group-stage action in the 2011 Gold Cup and US women's national team exhibition play.
"US Soccer looks to this building as one of the great locations and great markets for US national team games, both on the men's side and the women's side," Garber said. "I think you'll see more of those games in the years to come."
The game will be broadcast live at 8:30 pm ET on the ESPN, Univision, TSN and RDS family of networks. Exact details will be announced at a later date.
The 2013 All-Star Game will cap three days of festivities and continue the MLS versus the World format. It will be the 10th time the MLS stars face off against an international club, a group that includes Manchester United (2010, 2011), Chelsea (2006, 2012), Everton FC (2009) and Chivas de Guadalajara (2003).