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.
As the only NCAA Division I team in town, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos not only dazzle with a fury of dribbles, dunks, and dishes in the basketball game, they also provide fun on-court games and promotions that involve Kasey the Kangaroo, cheerleaders, and the dance team. Cram the fam in the van and enjoy a night of thrills that don’t involve a tub of tear-filled ice cream and an oddly specific romance-horror film. A parking shuttle service uses golf carts to pick you up and take you back to your car, saving your precious steps for trips up and down the seating aisle, coaxing cheers from your fellow fans. Today's deal is good for one seat in the premium seating section of the intimate, 1,500-seat Swinney Recreation Center, getting you as close to the floor as possible without having an alley-ooping hoopster dunking in your nachos.
The Turner Recreation Commission's expansive facilities feature ample opportunities for exercise in surf and on turf. A brightly lit indoor pool in the aquatic center boasts a graduated, beach-like entry that tricks feet into turning a toasty golden tan. Eight delineated lanes allow swimmers to torpedo through the water unencumbered by the flailing limbs of fellow pool-goers.
A 36-month-old strokes his arms through clear water as his mother gently holds him afloat with her hands. Over the past few swim sessions, the little student has learned to submerge his face in the water and float on his belly as well as his back. After he and his fellow swimmers finish their parent/baby swimester, it's likely they may never experience the fear of swimming that many children begin to encounter around age 3. This type of insight into the developmental importance of swimming is what informs the instruction at Swim-U, Leesburg's child-oriented swimming school. The school's curriculum opens its lessons to newborns as young as 6 months old and to kids up to age 12 to instill water skills and the joys of fitness swimming from a young age. The Swim-U team comprises upbeat swimming professors who are the brains behind the company's special brand of instruction in swimming, as well as in child CPR and first-aid training and dunk-tank pitching.
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.