Sporting KC fans brave excessive heat for double-header games

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Soccer fans from across the metro braved an excessive heat warning Monday night as Sporting Park hosted a double-header in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Haiti beat Honduras 1-0; then fans rooted on Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi and Team USA as they took the field against Panama.

The game was sold out and the atmosphere was not for the faint of heart, as temperatures hovered around 98 degrees by late afternoon and the heat index hit 115 degrees.

“I literally feel like everything is melting off my body,” said Courtney Bebensee, a member of American Outlaws of Kansas City.

Her group of soccer fans huddled under a tailgate tent, using only fans, water and beer to beat the heat.

“It’s impossible to breathe, really,” said an American Outlaws member manning the scorching hot grill and flipping burgers. “I’m going about three water bottles every five minutes basically, but that’s all right, it’s worth it.”

The excessive heat warning prompted Sporting Park to let fans bring in water bottles.

“Fan security and fan safety is always a top priority for us,” said Kurt Austin, communications for Sporting KC. “There are first aid stations available on both ends of the stadium…and we also have an ambulance for more advanced medical care.”

The excessive heat advisory is expected to last until Tuesday at 9 p.m.