KS Kansas City Wizards Soccer Stadium Expansion Joints EMSEAL

Sporting Kansas City Children’s Mercy Park, Major League Soccer Stadium, Kansas City


Date: 2010-2011

Soccer stadium expansion joints SJS System Emseal

We’re proud to have Sporting Kansas on a long and growing list of stadiums who have turned to EMSEAL for lasting stadium expansion joint waterproofing and bridging.

Major league soccer and European football stadiums or ‘stands’ have a feel all their own. The fans symmetrically surround the field and sit close to the action while their exuberant cheers and chants reflect back to the action from cantilevered canopies over the stands. Designed by Populous, Sporting Kansas (formerly Wizards) Children’s Mercy Park is an ideal embodiment of the classic football stand.

SJS-FP Seismic Joint System in Split-Slab Concourses

soccer stadium expansion joints SJS by EMSEAL

From the top, the SJS-FP looks just like it’s solid slab partner SJS System. All you see is the cover plate. Underneath the cover plate are the stainless steel caps that clamp an integral side flashing sheet to a mounting rail and leg assembly. The legs have a height to match the concrete wear course. The side flashing sheets are embedded and encapsulated into the buried waterproofing membrane. The result is a static (non-moving, never in tension), and absolutely watertight integration with the deck waterproofing membrane. From the top just a nice, clean, easily traversed, high-point load, and non-invasively anchored cover plate. The cover plate is cleverly anchored to the center spline that is flanked by precompressed expanding foam. The foam is also non-invasively anchored. This means that for the plates, and the entire system, there are so screws, pins, anchores or other metal embedments into the concrete. This in turn means none of these parts to rust, loosen, rattle, or become leak paths.

Can You Spot the Oops!

Soccer stadium expansion joints SJS System with standpipe Emseal

Another nice view of the SJS-FP System in a concourse. The joint is doing fine but an unnecessary maintenance item was created by allowing a stand pipe to be run right through the joint gap. This is not advisable and is easily avoidable. Two problems are created: 1) it is a waterproofing maintenance issue. As the joint absorbs movement the seal around the pipe will be compromised and will need to be continually repaired; and 2) if the joint experiences exaggerated movement from a seismic event for example, the pipe will obstruct the free movement causing possible flooding from the damaged pipe as well as damage to the concrete.


It is results like this that are the origin of our recommendation that the designer include in the General Conditions of the specification, a requirement that “all trades are responsible for their work  at expansion joints and that no work should impede the proper functioning, movement and waterproofing of the expansion joints.”

It is also why we recommend that specification contain the requirement for the General Contractor, among other EJ responsibilities, hold an expansion joint specific preconstruction meeting.  Of course no designer should actually detail  this condition either.

Horizontal Colorseal was used on this job as an economical solution to non-trafficked and deck-to-wall horizontal joints. Seismic Colorseal was used to make watertight transitions from both the Horizontal Colorseal as well as the SJS-FP to all the wall joints.  All-in-all a fitting solution worthy of world class soccer stadium.