Kansas City NWSL will build the first soccer stadium purpose-built for an NWSL team, the club announced Tuesday.
While final designs are still in development, the estimated $70 million project will be entirely privately funded through the ownership group and will be located near the east end of the Berkley Riverfront in Kansas City, near the Missouri River.
It is expected to seat 11,000 fans and open in 2024.
“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. “We believe this significant investment and commitment will shape a stronger future for our entire region and our athletes.”
The club is in its first season in the city, having moved from Utah this season after Utah Royals FC and Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen sold the team following reports of racist comments, epithets and behavior described by former players and employees.
Kansas City NWSL has played this season at Legends Field, which it shares with an independent league baseball team. It will play its next two seasons at Children’s Mercy Park, the home of MLS's Sporting Kansas City.
News of the stadium's construction comes amid a period of turmoil within the league. Following a report by The Athletic about now-former North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley allegedly sexually coercing players over multiple years, then league commissioner Lisa Baird resigned. General counsel Lisa Levine also reportedly was removed from her position by the league's board of directors.
Subsequently, the league announced several changes and initiatives, including the formation of an executive committee. Marla Messing, the former CEO of the USTA Southern California and president and CEO of the 1999 Women's World Cup, was also appointed as the league's interim CEO.
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