Beneath Sprint Center's lights and rafters, the Command cruise up and down arena football's condensed gridiron during a trio of hard-hitting skirmishes. A slow start to the 2012 season has forced head coach Danton Barto to shift gears on the fly and acquire former NFL quarterback Matt Gutierrez. Rather than constructing a Lego statue of himself on the 30-yard line, Gutierrez opted to make his mark on the field by throwing for five touchdowns during his Kansas City debut on April 7, including three to second-year receiver Bradly Chavez. During breaks in the action, the Command Girls dance team charges the field, distracting opponents from eavesdropping on team huddles or playing makeshift games of Jenga with the end-zone pylons.
MVPs, Gold Gloves, and a World Series title pepper more than 40 years of Kansas City Royals history, replete with powerful pitches and bat-cracking home runs. The recently renovated Kauffman Stadium treats visitors to a giant high-definition video board, which wears a 40-foot crown and waves a scepter made of massive glow sticks. During breaks in the action, fans can visit concessions stands, play mini golf in the outfield experience, or count each of the stadium’s 37,903 seats. Open until the top of the eighth inning, a 7,000-square-foot Hall of Fame guides guests through a maze of memorabilia, including photos of Royals past and perfume-scented love notes to the Royals of the future.
Sporting Kansas City enthralls fans with powerful punts and nimble goalkeeping as it seeks to defend its season-long success at home. Attendees will enjoy prime views of the goals, gasping during high-stakes penalty kicks and vultures' attempts to seize the opposing team's out-of-breath halfbacks. This season, star Omar Bravo—one of the most decorated players from superstar Mexican squad Chivas Guadalajara—leads KC with four goals after 21 games, and Danish goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen prevents soccer balls and extremely lost badminton birdies from entering the net, sporting 50 saves in more than 1,300 minutes played. Defender Matt Besler, the fans' selection for this year's MLS All-Star Game, promises to valiantly shield the goal box during his quest to head the ball to the moon.
Now in their 86th season, the Harlem Globetrotters continue to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2012 world tour, a rotating roster of Globetrotter favorites take to the hardwood each game, so spectators might spot Special K Daley sharing a behind-the-back pass with newcomer Jacob “Hops” Tucker, the 2011 NCAA slam-dunk champion whose 50-inch vertical leap cruelly dashed his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Trotters might also present a study in contrasts with five-foot-two Too Tall Hall and seven-foot-eight Paul "Tiny" Sturgess, the world's tallest pro basketball player.
For the late Dr. George Henry Alexander Clowes, the most important things in life were science and the arts. The good doctor wanted to share this devotion with the Indianapolis community, so he devised and funded Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University. Completed in 1963, the hall shares Butler's gorgeous aesthetic with its arching stone façade and lush crimson interior, which has room for over 2,000 patrons. In addition to major touring productions and public speakers, Clowes Memorial Hall is also the home of the Indianapolis Opera, the Butler Ballet, and the Indy 500.
Led by Copenhagen-born, Wichita Wings-bred head coach Kim Roentved, the Missouri Comets enter their second year in the Major Indoor Soccer League seeking recompense for last year's semifinal loss. Approaching the end of a winning season that's kept fans on the edge of their seats, the Comets' powerhouse lineup includes the mononymous midfielder Geison whose 69 goals so far this season place him comfortably atop the league scoring charts and the cast list of every goalie's night terrors. Teammate Byron Alvarez doubles the scoring threat, with a record of 55 vicious punches to the net that sets him among the league's top five goal kickers.