Sporting Kansas City part-owner Neal Patterson passed away on Sunday at age 67 due to unexpected complications from a recurrence of cancer.
“Major League Soccer deeply mourns the passing of Neal Patterson," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a league statement. "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.”
One of five Sporting Kansas City co-owners, Patterson was also the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Cerner Corporation, one of the world's largest healthcare information technology companies. The Kansas City entrepreneur and businessman was one of the principal investors in the group that purchased the MLS club from Lamar Hunt and Hunt Sports Group in 2006.
Since Patterson and his co-owners took over the organization, Sporting Kansas City have emerged as one of the elite clubs in the league and Children's Mercy Park, which opened in 2011, is recognized as one of the world's state-of-the-art soccer stadiums to the tune of 97 consecutive sellouts.