Sporting Kansas City principal owner Neal Patterson died from complications of cancer. He was 67.
Patterson and Cliff Illig purchased the soccer club from the late Lamar Hunt, the founder of the Chiefs, in 2006. Sporting KC will honor Patterson on Tuesday when they host FC Dallas in the U.S. Open Cup.
“Like Ewing Kauffman and Lamar Hunt, Neal was a truly iconic sports entrepreneur in Kansas City,” Sporting Kansas City President Jake Reid said. “His commitment to the Kansas City Wizards in 2006 saved soccer in this city and paved the way for an incredible transformation that few could have envisioned at the time. Through his dedication to first-class facilities, community-driven initiatives and an unparalleled fan experience at Children’s Mercy Park, Sporting KC has blossomed into a crown jewel of Major League Soccer. He regularly celebrated the team’s success with his family and took great pride in all of his sports endeavors.”
“Major League Soccer deeply mourns the passing of Neal Patterson,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “Neal’s vision and passion were instrumental in the incredible turnaround of Sporting Kansas City. He was a brilliant entrepreneur who made community relations and philanthropy essential components of every business he owned. We extend our condolences to Neal’s family and friends, the Sporting Kansas City organization, and their fans.”