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Photo courtesy of Kansas City NWSL

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."

Go deeper

Nov 25, 2021 - Sports

Two NWSL teams searching for new head coaches after abuse allegations

Photo: Roy K. Miller/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Saturday's NWSL title game featured 138 minutes of brilliant soccer between two teams — the Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars — who are now searching for new head coaches.

Why it matters: The championship was a microcosm of the NWSL's ninth season, which combined superlative play on the field with institutional failures off of it.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Nov 25, 2021 - Sports

Special report: Women's soccer stares down change

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The next few months could be among the most important in American women's soccer history, with significant change on the horizon for both the NWSL and USWNT.

The big picture: Collective bargaining agreements tend to be tedious, and lawsuits can drag on. But as 2022 approaches, that's where the action is.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Nov 25, 2021 - Sports

USWNT: A new CBA and an equal pay fight

The USWNT and USMNT are currently negotiating new CBAs as well, with the men's already expired and the women's expiring on Dec. 31.

State of play: The U.S. Soccer Federation announced in September that it had offered both teams the same proposal in an effort to align them under a single CBA. Complicating things is that the men and women have long had different priorities.