BY DARRELL LOVELL
The 2013 MLS All-Star game will not be played at Livestrong Sporting Park after all.
No, the game is not being moved out of Kansas City, but the name of the $200 million soccer mecca is slated to change according to ESPN.com as the outlet is reporting that Sporting Kansas City and the stadium’s sponsor, the Livestrong Foundation, are severing ties.
According to the report, the foundation ascertains that SKC is delinquent on three-quarters of the $1 million dollar sponsorship owed in 2012 and attempts to make up the difference were not progressing.
According to the MLS outlet, the issue goes deeper than simple non-payment.
“We are disappointed to learn Livestrong is deploying tactics designed to force us into an unacceptable arrangement, after months of good faith discussions in which we believed progress had been made,” said Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman in a statement provided to ESPN.com. “We were not expecting the foundation to treat a partner in this manner; especially given the tumultuous environment they have thrust us into over the past year — while we staunchly defended the mission of the foundation. Our faith and trust in this partnership has been permanently damaged; therefore we are terminating our agreement with Livestrong immediately.”
The ESPN.com report states that the Livestrong Foundation has not been notified about SKC’s intent to change the name to what the Kansas City Star is reporting will be Sporting Park.
The divorce comes in the midst of the anti-cancer foundations rebranding after the fall out from founder Lance Armstrong admitting to using performance enhancing drugs; however, that is not what has severed the relationship.
The end of the deal after just two years marks the conclusion of a progressive, ground-breaking agreement to turn stadium naming rights into support for a top national cause.