Tuesday, October 2, 2012

KCK preps for thousands of visitors this month

By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com

Though Kansas City, Kan., hasn't always had the biggest spotlight in the Kansas City metro area, it will this month.

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County is expecting over 200,000 visitors to the Kansas City, Kan., area as a result of two sporting events in Western Wyandotte County.

Along with the 200,000 visitors, over 6 million people are expected to watch the United States Soccer qualifying match and the Kansas Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup race this month on television.

“This Big Week in October highlights the unprecedented success Kansas City, Kansas is having in the tourism and hospitality industry," said Bridgette Jobe, Executive Director of the Kansas City Kansas Convention and Visitors Bureau.  "The entire KC region benefits when this amount of media exposure is placed on our city. I believe this week is a celebration of our city for the success tourism brings."

The soccer match will be held at LiveSTRONG Sporting Park on Oct. 16. The United States will take on Guatemala in a World Cup qualifyer.

On October 21, Kansas Speedway will host its second race of the year - and more than 150,000 NASCAR fans and racing crews are expected to travel to KCK.

Over 10 million visitors to KCK are expected by the end of 2012.

More from a news release:
More than 200,000 people will journey to KCK in October for major sporting and tourism events.  And an estimated 6.5-million racing and soccer fans will tune-in from around the world as NASCAR racing and World Cup Soccer take center stage at Village West.

October 13-21, Wyandotte County will be host to NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series racing, a FIFA World Cup Soccer match and of course, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, which draws an estimated 250,000 during its annual run.

On October 16, the United States Soccer team will take on Guatemala in a World Cup qualifying match. 17,000 fans are expected to pack LiveSTRONG Sporting Park for the international event. This match  will determine whether the U.S. team  advances to the final round of World Cup qualifying,  so all eyes will be on Kansas City.  An expected 900,000 soccer fans will tune in the match on ESPN2 and Univision.  More than 200 members of the international media will be in town.

Just a few days later, an expected 150,000 NASCAR fans, racing crews and vendors will hit town for the Sprint Cup Hollywood Casino 400 race and the Nationwide Series race. Kansas Speedway projects the race weekend will bring a $243-million economic impact to the Kansas City region. Besides the fans in the stands,  more than 5.5-million racing fans will watch the races on television.