The KC Current makes waves with CPKC Stadium

The KC Current opened the NWSL season in CPKC Stadium on March 16, 2024. Photo Courtesy of Jamie Squire/Getty Images.

By Allyn Tucker

Boston University News Service

With the newest season of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) kicking off this past month, the teams weren’t the only ones making their debut. CPKC Stadium, home to the Kansas City Current, is the first stadium ever built specifically for a professional women’s team, and its field caught its first action during opening weekend. 

The building and usage of CPKC Stadium has made major strides in women’s sports. Before the historic announcement was made in 2021, female athletes have had to repeatedly struggle through the processes of scheduling and training, due to working around the schedules of the men’s teams that occupied their home stadiums. In the wake of facilities designed and built for men, the Current’s ownership is setting a new precedent. 

Co-owners Angie Long, Chris Long and Brittany Mahomes, all of which are well-known to the sports fans of Kansas City, let fans in on the news of CPKC Stadium in the final weeks of the club’s inaugural NWSL season. The stadium, which cost $117 million to build, seats 11,500 occupants and is located along Kansas City’s Berkley Riverfront Park, which is also undergoing a riverfront development project. 

In addition to the stadium, the city of Kansas City is also expanding public transportation to make the Current games and the riverfront more accessible. With construction beginning March 1, the KC Streetcar is ongoing the Riverfront Expansion project, which puts CPKC Stadium within walking distance of the KC Streetcar. Building accessible  transportation for the fans removes a barrier some may face to catch a couple of games or an entire season.

For some season ticket holders, the expansion can’t come soon enough. In an email sent to season ticket holders prior to the 2024 NWSL season, the club announced that on-site parking purchased directly from the Current would come out to $795 on the season, which puts the price of parking per game at more than $50. If a fan chooses to go through a third-party vendor, like SeatGeek, for parking, the price only continues to grow.

Despite the parking controversy, fans and players alike are ecstatic about kicking the season off in the perfect atmosphere. Playing their first match on March 16, the Current entered the stadium to an enthusiastic, sold-out crowd. The hype around the Current’s season proves a point women’s sports advocates have been making for years now: when women’s sports are advertised and marketed well to the public, people will watch and even come to the games.

The players of the NWSL are no strangers to fighting for the best for women’s soccer and female athletes in general, but this stadium is a testament to years of pushing through unacceptable conditions; whether it be high school stadiums, run-down fields or non-priority stadium scheduling. Proven in Kansas City, there is a bright path ahead for investment in women’s sports.

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