Jan 16, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
And the hits just keep on coming. See that box outlined in yellow near the top of the photo there? That’s where the word ‘Livestrong’ used to be on the Livestrong Sporting Park soccer stadium in Kansas City. After workmen got through with it this morning, it’s now just Sporting Park. And so it goes this week, as Lance Armstrong is being dismantled both figuratively and literally.
Livestrong Sporting Park is the $200 million soccer-specific stadium which is home to Sporting Kansas city of the MLS. It’s changing its name after a dispute with Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation, and while this can’t be directly connected to Armstrong’s big mea culpa interview with Oprah on Thursday, it’s possibly indirectly linked.
In a statement posted on the team website Tuesday, Sporting KC chief executive Robb Heineman accused Livestrong of “utilizing aggressive tactics designed to force us into an unsatisfactory arrangement.” He said the foundation’s conduct was particularly surprising considering the organization is “in the midst of a significant transitional phase.”
ESPN first reported the name change, and reports that the dispute centers on Livestrong telling Sporting KC that it still owed $750,000 of $1 million promised to the foundation in 2012.
“Our faith and trust in this partnership have been permanently damaged; therefore we are terminating our agreement with Livestrong, effectively immediately,” Heineman said. “As a result of this decision, our stadium will now be referred to as Sporting Park. While we are ending this relationship, our support of the fight against cancer will endure.”
Sporting Park, which opened in 2011 and has been among the leaders in MLS average attendance for the past two seasons, had a six-year naming rights agreement with the Livestrong Foundation which was due to run out in 2017. It will now just be known as Sporting Park.
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