Sporting KC-Livestrong spat leads to new park name

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2013 at 12:21 am •  Published: January 16, 2013
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The home of Sporting Kansas City has a new name following a disagreement between the Major League Soccer team and the cancer charity founded by Lance Armstrong.

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."

Heineman's statement comes one day after Armstrong admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs during an extraordinary cycling career that included seven straight Tour de France victories. The interview is scheduled to air Thursday night.

"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."

According to ESPN, which was the first to report on the name change, Livestrong recently told Sporting KC it still owed $750,000 of the $1 million promised to the foundation in 2012.

Greg Lee, the chief financial officer for the charity, did not address any details in his emailed statement, but said part of his role is "to ensure that the terms of the foundation's agreements are adhered to."

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