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Kansas City NWSL to build first of its kind stadium 

  

The owners of the Kansas City National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) are funding the first purpose-built stadium for an NWSL team. 

The owners signed a 50-year lease for a 7-acre site in Kansas City, with the $70 million construction set to be privately funded through the ownership group. Chris Long, who co-owns the franchise with his wife Angie and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ fiancée Brittany Matthews, said the investment was focused on the players and fans of the newly-franchised team. 

“From the beginning, our vision has been to create a player-first experience, and facilities for our team that match not only the elite level of these incredible athletes, but also the passionate support of the Kansas City metro and our fans,” Long said. “We believe this significant investment and commitment will shape a stronger future for our entire region and our athletes.”

Monarch Build, JE Dunn, and Generator Studios signed onto the project as design and construction partners. The facility is expected to be ready for players and fans by 2024, with construction slated to begin in the middle of next year. 

The stadium will be built along the Berkley Riverfront in Kansas City. Port KC helped finalize the plans, the latest in an effort to revitalize the riverfront area and grow it into a thriving part of the city. 

“The goals for reclaiming our long-neglected riverfront have been bold but clear – develop a connected, accessible, vibrant, and diverse neighborhood,” said Jon Stephens, Port KC’s president and CEO. “Anchoring a dynamic facility such as this on the downtown riverfront, and connecting it to the heart of our city with the KC Streetcar, trails, and green space not only solidifies our commitment but also proves that there is no better place for our community and the world to gather.” 

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas also touted the historic opportunity for women’s sports and for the area’s redevelopment. 

“As a sports fan and a father, I am so proud that Kansas City will make history in having a world-class facility dedicated to women in sport and that the project will be a centerpiece of our beautiful riverfront redevelopment,” Lucas said. 

Billie Jean King, former world No. 1 tennis player and an iconic advocate for women’s equality in sports, took to social media to laud the project, calling it “incredibly exciting and a testament to the growing influence and popularity of women’s sports.”

The team was awarded a franchise late last year and will play its home matches at Children’s Mercy Park throughout its 2022 season. The franchise also announced plans for a $15 million privately-funded training facility in Riverside last month.

The NWSL was founded in 2012. Kansas City’s original team, FC Kansas City, was one of the league’s founding teams and was active from 2013-2017.

Cover image: Generator Studio