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Here's how Current President Raven Jemison took in Levi's Stadium inaugural match, plans for CPKC Stadium’s

Current President Raven Jemison
Posted at 4:07 PM, Mar 15, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Saturday won’t mark the first time new Kansas City Current President Raven Jemison has helped a team she worked for open a new stadium

She was the San Francisco 49ers’ director of member services in 2014 when Levi’s Stadium opened — a moment she’ll never forget.

RELATED | Charting her own path: Jemison’s rise as a sports executive

“I took my team up to the top, it was called the (NRG) Solar Terrace at that time, and you take your team up to the very top and just look down, watch the ball kickoff and hear the cheers of the fans and think about those moments and those sleepless nights that we all had getting ready for that moment,” Jemison said. “... It was a great feeling.”

The Solar Terrace sits atop the Santa Clara, California, stadium adjacent to the massive array of stadium lighting.

Jemison’s new team opens CPKC Stadium on Saturday when the Current host the Portland Thorns in the NWSL season-opener, a watershed moment in women’s sports as the facility marks the first purpose-built stadium for a professional women’s sports franchise.

“When the fans actually get to see the ball kicked, right? I think there's been a lot of anticipation, rightfully so. We had to build it, so they could get there. But I do think on match day on March 16, I just want to walk around the stadium and see the look on people's faces when they realize that this stadium was built for them. The stadium was built for the city of Kansas City, and we're very proud to show off what all the work has been about.”

Working every day in professional sports, the games can lose some of the magic fans in attendance enjoy that look on “the kid’s face who might be there with their dad or might be there with their mom or their family, and they're experiencing the match through a different set of eyes that I just don't have anymore,” she said.

“You can become numb when you go game after game or match after match and it just becomes work,” Jemison said. “So, I always take the moment — especially opening day, and this day will be even more special — to just sit back and watch faces and sit back and look at the experience.”

Jemison plans to stay a little more grounded this time around rather than scale CPKC Stadium’s roof for a bird’s eye view on Saturday, though she’s not entirely settled on how she’ll take in this moment in history.

“I think it's going to depend on how the day is going,” Jemison said. “... I just want to make sure I see the fans’ faces, right? It's one thing to watch the ball, to watch the match start, but I want to watch the fans' faces. I'll probably be somewhere peering in the stands.”