Armstrong cheated, but keep Livestrong Sporting Park
The Kansas City Star
UPDATE 7 PM
ESPN reports the deal between Livestrong and Sporting KC is dead.
Bicyclist Lance Armstrong is a lying cheater, which has raised an intriguing question for us locally: Should Sporting KC change the name of its beautiful soccer stadium in Kansas City, Kan.?
I say no.
Livestrong Sporting Park - as much as it will remind people of the reprehensible deeds of Armstrong - should remain as it is.
I agree with Sporting KC CEO Robb Heineman: The team’s association with the work of Livestrong, which Armstrong founded, is important.
“The naming rights partnership between our stadium and Livestrong provides an opportunity to spread health and wellness messages that emphasizes the spirit of cancer survivorship, ” Heineman said in a statement last year. “Livestrong’s focus is the fight against cancer and the support of 28 million people around the world affected by this disease, and we believe strongly in this mission.”
The team’s deal with Livestrong is to donate at least $7.5 million in revenue over six years to the foundation.
I admit to having gone back and forth on this issue a few times, usually because I have lost all respect for Armstrong. He certainly was successful in his professional bicycling career, but it turns out he - and many others - cheated to achieve their fame and money during this time.
If changing the name of Livestrong Sporting Park were a way to punish Lance Armstrong, I’d be all for it.
But changing the name could hurt Livestrong and the work it does. That’s punishing the wrong people
I realize many people disagree, and I have to say I wouldn’t be devastated if the name were altered - as long as Livestrong got its money.
Then again, I don’t think any soccer fans in Kansas City have refused or will refuse to come to a Sporting KC game simply because the name of the stadium remains Livestrong Sporting Park.