Kansas City to build 1st stadium specifically for National Women's Soccer League
The owners of Kansas City's National Women's Soccer League team on Tuesday announced plans to construct a $70 million, 11,000-seat stadium.
Why it matters: The stadium, set to open in 2024, appears to be the first top-division soccer stadium constructed for a women's team, the Wall Street Journal notes.
Driving the news: "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," KC NWSL co-founder and co-owner Chris Long said in a statement.
- The stadium will be privately financed through the team's ownership group, which is led by married couple Angie and Chris Long.
- Brittany Matthews, an entrepreneur and the fiancée of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, is also a part-owner.
- The ownership group signed a 50-year lease for a seven-acre plot on the Berkley Riverfront in Kansas City, making it the first stadium within the city's downtown footprint.
The big picture: The announcement comes on the heels of a slew of sexual misconduct allegations and reports of toxic environments across the league, resulting in the resignation of the NWSL commissioner and the firing of multiple coaches.
Yes, but: The league is set to expand by two teams next season — bringing the total to 12 — and NWSL players are in the process of negotiating their first collective bargaining agreement, per the Journal.
What they're saying: "World-class facilities have proven to be a catalyst in transforming all professional sports," Angie Long said.
- "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."