K.C. NWSL setting high mark with plans for 11,000-seat stadium

Owners of K.C.'s NWSL team are building a $70M, 11,000-seat stadium to open in '24, and it "appears to be the first top-division soccer stadium constructed for a women’s team," according to Rachel Bachman of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The stadium will be "entirely privately financed through the ownership group and built on public land." Team officials have "signed a 50-year lease for a seven-acre site on the Berkley Riverfront in Kansas City." The stadium capacity "hasn’t been finalized but it will seat at least 11,000." The stadium announcement is a "vote of confidence that the NWSL, in its ninth season, will survive its recent turmoil." K.C. NWSL "has played this season at Legends Field, which it shares with an independent-league baseball team." The club will "play the next two seasons at Children’s Mercy Park," the home of Sporting KC. Although she praised Children’s Mercy Park as a venue, co-Owner Angie Long said that the NWSL team having its own stadium is "important for branding, sponsorship and a lively game environment." Weeks ago, the franchise "announced it was privately funding construction" of a $15M team training facility in nearby Riverside, Mo. (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/26).

MORE CONSTRUCTION PLANS: In K.C., Sam Mellinger in a front-page piece notes the venue is being designed by K.C.-based Generator Studio "with construction partners that include JE Dunn and Monarch Build." Ownership expects ground will be "broken on the project sometime next summer or early fall." The privately funded stadium "will be U-shaped, open to the river and situated within an easy walk from the existing streetcar line." K.C. NWSL’s status as the new stadium’s "primary tenant provides the franchise control over scheduling and the experience of fans and players." It also allows the team to "manage other events at the stadium," which ownership expects will "include college sports championships, international soccer matches and concerts" (K.C. STAR, 10/26).

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