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Stadium for Kansas City NWSL to be built along Berkley Riverfront

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Posted at 5:47 AM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 16:34:56-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City's professional women's soccer team will soon have its own stadium.

The team owners plan to build a $70 million stadium and it's expected to open in 2024.

As many as 11,000 fans will be able to enjoy matches at the new venue with potential for future growth, team officials announced Tuesday.

It will be the first stadium built for a National Women's Soccer League team, according to Kansas City NWSL.

“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,” Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a statement.

Kansas City NWSL is in its inaugural season of play and was founded by Chris and Angie Long. Patrick Mahomes' fiancée Brittany Matthews is also a part-owner.

“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,” Chris Long said in a statement. “We believe this significant investment and commitment will shape a stronger future for our entire region and our athletes.”

The team currently plays on Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas, a baseball stadium that serves as the home field for for the Kansas City Monarchs baseball team.

Kansas City NWSL will play matches at Children's Mercy Park for the 2022 season.

The new stadium will be built in the Berkley Riverfront area, which is also receiving a KC Streetcar connection in the near future. Both of those projects will likely encourage continued development of the currently sparsely occupied area.

"Together we're going to continue to reimagine this riverfront, but this is much more than a building." Port KC CEO and president Jon Stephens said. "It will serve as a catalyst to connect neighborhoods and it will celebrate the environment that we're in."

The Port Authority of Kansas City, which discussed the stadium three times in closed meetings since it was a real-estate transaction, unanimously approved the final lease authorization with Kansas City NWSL at Monday's Port KC Commission meeting.

The entirety of the project will be privately funded by the ownership group.

Companies Generator Studio, JE Dunn and Monarch Build will work on the project.

Kansas City NWSL also recently announced the construction of a $15 million training facility in Riverside.

Kansas City is in the bidding process to host 2026 FIFA World Cup matches and a delegation of global soccer officials visited last week. City officials are touting Kansas City as the best place for soccer in the U.S.

A new stadium would further that case.

It would also be the first stadium within the downtown Kansas City footprint, though there has been discussion that the Royals could make the move downtown in the future.

NWSL has been in the news lately for alleged sexual misconduct by North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley, throwing the league into a little bit of chaos by prompting resignations.

KC NWSL co-owner Angie Long is on the committee to lead a "systemic and cultural transformation" within the league.

The team will announce its new permanent name this weekend, KC NWSL officials announced Tuesday.