Sports in Kansas City

The Kansas City Metropolitan Area has a long history of sports, which has included national championship teams and championship title events.

Major professional teams

Club Sport League Founded Venue Titles
Kansas City Chiefs American football National Football League 1960 Arrowhead Stadium 1
Kansas City Royals Baseball Major League Baseball 1969 Kauffman Stadium 2
Sporting Kansas City Soccer Major League Soccer 1996 Children's Mercy Park 2

Kansas City has had teams in all five of the major, professional sports leagues; three major league teams remain today. The Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball became the first American League expansion team to reach the playoffs (1976), to reach the World Series (1980), and to win the World Series (1985; against the state-rival St. Louis Cardinals in the "Show-Me Series"). They did not make the playoffs again until 2014, winning the American League pennant before falling in a seven-game World Series to the San Francisco Giants. The Royals would return to the World Series in 2015, defeating the New York Mets in five games, clinching the title with a 7-2 win in 12 innings.

Since moving to the city in 1963, the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFL title in 1966, ultimately losing Super Bowl I to the Green Bay Packers, and again in 1969 as the last ever AFL champion, en route to their only Super Bowl win. They won Super Bowl IV against the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7.

Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer (MLS) plays its home games at Children's Mercy Park, formerly named Livestrong Sporting Park and Sporting Park. Kansas City has won the MLS Cup twice — first in 2000 by defeating the Chicago Fire 1–0, and next in 2013 by beating Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park. Kansas City has won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup four times — first in 2004 by beating the Chicago Fire, next in 2012 by beating the Seattle Sounders at Sporting Park, again in 2015 by beating the Philadelphia Union, and most recently in 2017 by beating the New York Red Bulls. The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is named for Lamar Hunt; while he was best known as the founding owner of the Chiefs, he was also a principal founder of both the original North American Soccer League and MLS.

Other current teams

Club Sport Founded League Venue
Kansas City Comets Indoor soccer 2010 Major Arena Soccer League Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
Kansas City Mavericks Ice hockey 2009 ECHL Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
Kansas City T-Bones Baseball 2003 American Association T-Bones Stadium
Swope Park Rangers Soccer 2016 USL Championship Children's Mercy Park

College sports

Program School Location Division Primary conference
Kansas City Roos University of Missouri–Kansas City Kansas City, Missouri NCAA Division I Western Athletic Conference
(Summit League in 2020)
Rockhurst Hawks Rockhurst University Kansas City, Missouri NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference
Avila Eagles Avila University Kansas City, Missouri NAIA Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers MidAmerica Nazarene University Olathe, Kansas NAIA Heart of America Athletic Conference

Past teams

In 1972, Kansas City gained an NBA franchise, when the Kansas City-Omaha Kings – which had originated as the Rochester Royals, before becoming the Cincinnati Royals – relocated to the city from Cincinnati; the Kings split their home games between Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska until 1975, when the team began playing its games exclusively in Kansas City, shortening its name to the Kansas City Kings. In 1985, the Kings relocated to Sacramento, California, becoming the Sacramento Kings.

In 1974, the National Hockey League (NHL) added an expansion team in Kansas City,[1] when the Kansas City Scouts began play. The team would suffer due to an economic downturn in the Midwest. For their second season, the Scouts sold just 2,000 of 8,000 season tickets and were almost $1 million in debt. Due to their various on- and off-ice disappointments, the franchise moved to Denver before settling on the East Coast as the New Jersey Devils.

The Kansas Crusaders won the 1993 Women's Professional Basketball WBA Championship and the Kansas City Mustangs went undefeated in 1994.

Club Sport Years of Operation League Venue Fate
FC Kansas City Women's soccer 2013–2017 National Women's Soccer League Children's Mercy Victory Field Folded and roster transferred to Utah Royals FC
Kansas City Athletics Baseball 1955–1967 Major League Baseball Municipal Stadium Moved to Oakland
Kansas City Attack/Comets Indoor soccer 1991–2005 National Professional Soccer League (1991–2001);
Major Indoor Soccer League (2001–2005)
Municipal Auditorium, Kemper Arena Suspended operations for 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons
Kansas City Blades Ice hockey 1990–2001 International Hockey League Kemper Arena League folded
Kansas City Blues Baseball 1898–1900 Western League Became the Washington Senators, now Minnesota Twins
Kansas City Blues Baseball 1902–1954 American Association (20th Century) Blues Stadium Moved to Colorado, now the New Orleans Baby Cakes (PCL)
Kansas City Blues/Cowboys Football 1924–1926 National Football League Team folded
Kansas City Comets Indoor soccer 1981–1991 Major Indoor Soccer League Kemper Arena Team folded
Kansas City Command Arena football 2006–2012 Arena Football League Kemper Arena, Sprint Center Team folded
Kansas City Cowboys Baseball 1884 Union Association Association Park League folded; team moved to the minor league Western League
Kansas City Cowboys Baseball 1886 National League (1886) Association Park Team folded; players sold to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys
Kansas City Cowboys Baseball 1888–1889 American Association (1888–89) Exposition Park Team folded
Kansas City Explorers Tennis 1993–2012 World TeamTennis Barney Allis Plaza Moved to Irving, Texas, and became the Texas Wild
Kansas City Kings Basketball 1972–1985 National Basketball Association Municipal Auditorium, Kemper Arena Moved to Sacramento
Kansas City Knights Basketball 2000–2005 American Basketball Association Kemper Arena, Hale Arena Suspended operations for 2005–06 season
Kansas City Maroons Baseball
Kansas City Monarchs Baseball 1920–1955 Negro National League (1920–1930),
Negro American League (1930–1955)
Blues Stadium Became full-time barnstorming team until 1965
Kansas City Mustangs Women's basketball 1992–1996 WABA-Kansas Crusaders (1992–1994),
Women's American Basketball Association (1995–1996)
Municipal Auditorium League folded
Kansas City Outlaws Ice hockey 2004–2005 United Hockey League Kemper Arena Team folded
Kansas City Packers Baseball
Kansas City Phantoms Indoor football 2017–2018 Champions Indoor Football Silverstein Eye Centers Arena Team folded
Kansas City Renegades Indoor football 2013 Champions Professional Indoor Football League Kemper Arena Team folded
Kansas City Scouts Ice hockey 1974–1976 National Hockey League Kemper Arena Moved to Colorado; now the New Jersey Devils
Kansas City Spurs Soccer 1968–1970 North American Soccer League Municipal Stadium Team folded
Kansas City Steers Basketball 1961–1963 American Basketball League Municipal Auditorium League folded
Kansas City Tornadoes Basketball 2018–2019 The Basketball League Hy-Vee Arena Folded

Sporting events

Sports headquarters

Kansas City and nearby Overland Park, Kansas were once the home of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and has hosted ten men's final fours, more than any other city. However, Kansas City will be unable to host an 11th Final Four due to the NCAA's requirement starting with the 1997 tournament that all Final Four venues have a minimum seating capacity of 30,000.

In recognition of Kansas City's ten final fours, the National Association of Basketball Coaches are based in the city, and operates a full-time museum in the new Sprint Center which opened in 2007.

Kansas City is home to the Mid–America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, a NCAA Division II conference of 14 schools in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics was formed in Kansas City. The national basketball tournament for the NAIA takes place each year in Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is located in the 18th and Vine district.


  1. "National Hockey League (NHL) Expansion History". Rauzulu's Street. Retrieved August 30, 2006.
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