KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City’s fan section has had enough of the team’s winless 2023 season.
In a letter to the club, Sporting KC’s support group, The Kansas City Cauldron, condemned the club not only for their lack of wins but for what they call “a lack of community and overall not being valued.”
The Cauldron made it clear that they support the club and the players. Their concerns are not with the players but with the front office, the group said.
“The organization’s performance on and off the pitch has not been acceptable,” the letter reads.
“Your performance over the last few years has raised numerous questions and concerns ranging from the club’s direction, engagement, matchday experience, and so many more. These are not just recent concerns; they have been building for more than just this season and are now at a boiling point.”
SKC has a strong history of success winning two MLS Cups, a Supporters Shield and four U.S. Open Cups. The most recent trophy for the club is the 2017 Open Cup.
While Sporting has only missed the MLS Cup playoffs twice in the past 10 years, the past two seasons for the club have been uninspiring.
After reaching the MLS Cup conference semifinals in 2020 and 2021, the double blue went 11-16-7 in 2022 and has already set records for a historic losing season by starting the season 0-3-7, their lone win being in the round of 64 in the Open Cup over NAPSL club Tulsa Athletic.
They have also only scored three goals in regular season play.
This letter is a signal from fans that the lack of winning has caused old wounds to fester.
“People are upset that it’s the Budweiser Brewhouse and not the Boulevard Members Club anymore,” fan David Greenwald said, “that concessions are expensive, but the quality isn’t maybe as good as it may have been.”
Greenwald said it seems like Sporting’s front office has forgotten about the fans.
“It just seems like it’s less fan centered and so, if the performance on the field isn’t as good and then the performance with what they’re giving us with watching the game is stale, I think that led to a lot of discontentment,” he told FOX4.
Fan Brandon Barelmann has been a season ticket holder in the Cauldron since about 2014 and a fan for the last decade.
“The club used to stand for the city better than any other club in the city at that time, back before the Royals were good when they had their World Series run and back before we had Patty Mahomes,” he said.
“But we just want to see our club succeed. We want to see our club be competitive and we want to see it done in an honest way.”
And the Cauldron’s letter shares similar sentiments.
“Season after season, the front office has decreased season ticket member perks while increasing ticket prices and concession prices. Even with the increased costs, we have seen a decline in concessions quality and overall stadium maintenance.
“When you couple that with what we see on the pitch every weekend, the Cauldron, supporters, and fans have a range of emotions. The status quo is unacceptable, while the continued silence and inaction from the front office give the impression that you believe it is.
“We have not seen any improvement in the team’s performance, player development, or an effort to communicate what actions you are taking. We echo the sentiments of a large percentage of your fan base that these are continued problems with the direction of the organization as a whole and they are not acceptable. Your silence is deafening and we expect change.”
Head coach Peter Vermes and players have addressed their play throughout the season since some key players like forward Alan Pulido and midfielder Gadi Kinda are still working their way back from injury.
The team’s season runs through October so they have time to turn things around. Sporting’s supporters just hope their words bring some change.”
“The Cauldron will continue to bring our thunderous cheers for the players on the
pitch. In contrast, off the pitch, we expect our enthusiasm and passion for our team to be met
with equal effort and emotion from the Sporting organization.
“We believe you should address our concerns similarly. We know you can do better and now is the time to prove it.”
Sporting KC leaders did not respond to FOX4’s request for an interview in regard to the Cauldron’s letter.
The team is on the road to face the Seattle Sounders at 3:30 p.m. Sunday on FOX4.