KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The road to the grand opening of the Kansas City Current's riverfront stadium is visibly inching closer as the final steel beam was installed Wednesday afternoon.
While the new stadium isn't set to be opened until 2024, the installation of the beam marks a major milestone for the first-ever soccer stadium built for a National Women's Soccer League team.
The celebration on Wednesday brought the likes of many influential Kansas Citians, from Jackson County executive Frank White to Kansas City Sports Commission leader Kathy Nelson. Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas also attended the celebration.
Many of those who attended the celebration signed their name on the beam before it was put into place to complete the steel erection.
Kansas City Current co-owners Angie Long and Chris Long said the stadium not only signals the impact it will have on the community, but also the impact it will have for women's sports.
"(Angie and I) have taken immense pride with where the stadium is located, what this stadium does for the community and what this level of investment does for women's sport," Chris Long said.
Chris Long said the construction progress made on the stadium is something to be proud of because it means they are not only closer to becoming the first stadium built for a NWSL team, but also closer to becoming a trailblazer in women's sports.
"This hasn't been done before," Chris Long said. "The stadium will raise the bar for women's sports just by nature of it's manifestation. People are going to have to match and/or raise the bar themselves. That level of impact is so awesome to have Kansas City at the forefront of that."
The development is still within its $117 million budget with more than 80,000 hours of labor having been put in constructing the stadium so far, according to the Current.
Work on the stadium is not quite done for the summer. While the steel erection has been completed, building masonry for suites, concessions and other amenities are still set to begin this summer, and pitch installation work begins in August.
In the fall, the installation of seating and the scoreboard will begin, along with concourse paving.
To wrap it all up, interior decorating for suites and club level seating along with the finishing of the concourse and bars will finish the stadium process.
Fans will be able to see the completed stadium upon its grand opening at the beginning of the 2024 NWSL season.