KC Making History

First of its kind for KC and the National Women’s Soccer League.

Early on Tuesday, October 26th, Kansas City NWSL announced that the club will build the first-ever soccer stadium purpose-built for a National Women’s Soccer League team. The news comes right as the club is looking to finish their first season in Kansas City, after leaving Utah. The team currently plays at Legends Field in Kansas City, KS, but will move to Children’s Mercy Park to play home games beginning next season. While final designs are still in the works, the estimated $70 million project will be located on the Berkley Riverfront in Kansas City, close to the Missouri River and is expected to be completed by the 2024 season.

Image Provided by KC NWSL

The team was formerly known as the Utah Royals but left Utah when racist and sexist remarks that were made by owner Dell Loy Hansen, went public. Since moving from Utah to Kansas City, the team has gone 3-7-13, with their last home game slated for October 30th against the OL Reign.

This is very big news not just for Kansas City, not just for women’s soccer, but women’s sports as a whole. Like I mentioned before, this is the first-ever soccer stadium purpose-built for a National Women’s Soccer League team. Being a woman looking to go into the sports industry, and who has played sports my whole life, it is so inspiring and encouraging to see people proactively buy into women’s sports. In an article posted by Stoneward, from the months of May 2020-April 2021, the NWSL had an engagement rate of .40 percent. The next closest was Major League Baseball at .33 percent. The NWSL also had the highest engagement rate in each of the leading social media platforms measured, which included Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Despite engagement rates being higher than most men’s professional leagues, women’s professional leagues continue to be overlooked. You look at the gender pay gap, the different types of training facilities and stadiums between the men and women, lack of coverage on bigger streaming services, and the way some teams have to travel to games is proof that we, as a society, have a long way to go still. However, this new stadium, which can hold 11,000 fans and is the first of its kind, will only continue to help the game grow. There is a ton of momentum and anticipation around women’s sports right now, and I cannot wait to see it brought to life.

Image Provided by Fox 4 Kansas City
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