A $70 million project along Kansas City’s riverfront is expected to be the first stadium purpose-built for a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team, Kansas City NWSL owners announced Tuesday, unveiling early plans for the 11,000-seat complex just north of downtown.
“The goals for reclaiming our long-neglected riverfront have been bold but clear – develop a connected, accessible, vibrant and diverse neighborhood,” said Jon Stephens, president and CEO of Port KC, which is charged with enhancing the economic vitality of Kansas City, in part, through riverfront development.
“Anchoring a dynamic facility such as this on the downtown riverfront, and connecting it to the heart of our city with the KC Streetcar, trails and greenspace not only solidifies our commitment, but also proves that there is no better place for our community and the world to gather,” he continued.
With final designs still in development, the project is expected to be entirely privately financed through the ownership group — which includes owners Angie Long, Chris Long and Brittany Matthews — with the team signing a 50-year lease for Parcel 8, the 7.08-acre site on the east end of the Berkley Riverfront.
The riverfront already is home to Bar K dog bar, the mixed-use Union development, and a range of outdoor recreation options.
Primary design and construction partners include Kansas City-based Generator Studio, JE Dunn and Monarch Build.
Check out design plans for the project below, then keep reading.
“World-class facilities have proven to be a catalyst in transforming all professional sports,” said Angie Long, co-founder of KC NWSL. “Tremendous momentum exists in women’s sports specifically, and we are so proud to play a major role in ensuring the sport and also our region benefit from the economics and growth offered by a stadium of this magnitude.”
In case you missed it: Click here to read about one Kansas City architecture and design firm’s work to bring another downtown stadium to reality.
The KC NWSL announcement comes just over 10 months since the ownership group was awarded a franchise and is the latest in a series of major investments for the team.
“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,” said Chris Long, co-founder of KC NWSL. “We believe this significant investment and commitment will shape a stronger future for our entire region and our athletes.”
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas expressed pride in welcoming the development as part of the riverfront reinvestment — boasting an “outstanding urban facility that will be the premier showcase for NWSL soccer in our country.”
“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,” Lucas said.
The riverfront announcement follows previously released plans for a privately-funded $15 million training facility in Riverside, Missouri, and plans to play home matches during the 2022 season at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
Kansas City NWSL is nearing the end of its Inaugural Season of play and will be in action for its final match at Legends Field on Saturday, Oct. 30.
— Jon Stephens (@RockhillStrat) October 26, 2021