Metro women's soccer club FC Kansas City ceases operations

FC Kansas City ceases operations
Posted at 12:28 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 23:52:52-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The National Women’s Soccer League announced Monday that FC Kansas City, the metro’s professional women’s soccer team, will cease operations.

In a statement posted on its website, the league says the move is effective immediately. 

F.C. Kansas City debuted in 2013 and won two league championships.

For fans of the team, the announcement brought heartbreak and disappointment.

Anna Fowler said she immediately became a fan of FC Kansas City after hearing the franchise would play in the metro.

“I was so excited when I heard that they were starting a new league,” she explained. “As soon as I graduated, I got my season tickets and I was there every game." 

Fowler eventually became a member and president of the Kansas City Blue Crew, a loyal fan club for the team.

She said the group became close and would often spend time together after games.

“We came together because we all shared a love for soccer, specifically women's soccer,” Fowler explained. “Along the way, we found that we had a lot of common interests also so we just became a family."

Fowler told 41 Action News that the Blue Crew had around 50-60 members last season.

However, Monday’s announcement now makes future plans for the group uncertain.

“We call ourselves the soccer capital of America but we lost our women's team,” she said. “We lost a championship team. It's not just any run of the mill. This was a successful team."

The team did not offer any specific reasons for ceasing operations but numbers provided by the club showed declining attendance.

In 2017, the team saw a 32% drop from the year before.

             Total               Avg./Game
2013 - 50,884                4,626
2014 - 24,215                 2,018
2015 - 30,911                 3,091
2016 - 31,624                 3,162
2017 - 21,456                 1,788

Despite the declining attendance, fans of the team said F.C. Kansas City played an important role in metro sports.

“It made girls that play soccer want to keep playing soccer even more so they could play at that level,” explained Savannah Medrano, who said she attended two to three games for the team over the years. “Learning from older girls like this makes them know that they're important and that they're just as valuable as anybody else."

Players on the club roster will be transferred to a new women’s team, Real Salt Lake, in Utah.

The outgoing owners of FC Kansas City posted messages on social media Monday morning thanking fans for their support.

Moving forward, Anna Fowler hoped the Blue Crew could once again cheer on a metro professional women’s soccer team in the future.

“Not having that presence in the city anymore is sad,” she said.