Olé! In big news for soccer fans — and even bigger news for women’s sports — the first stadium built specifically for a National Women’s Soccer League team is officially in play. 

Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the 11,500-seat stadium was christened on March 16, when the Kansas City Current faced off against the Portland Thorns. 

“I’m very happy not only for Kansas City,” said KC Current midfielder Debinha, “but also for women’s soccer.” And the players aren’t the only ones excited about the new venue, which sits on seven acres of land near the Missouri River: Season tickets are already sold out.

The enthusiasm represents the increasing interest in women’s athletics from sports fans of both sexes. Media coverage nearly tripled in five years, Forbes reported last October; viewership for the 2023 Women’s World Cup set records; and sports bars airing only women’s athletics are offering fans public places to gather. 


Traditionally, women’s sports teams rent out stadiums or play in the ones built for men’s teams. CPKC Stadium — named for sponsoring partner CPKC, a railroad company — is one of the few in the world constructed expressly for use by professional women athletes. At $117 million, the cost to build it was money well spent, according to Chris Long, who co-founded the team with wife Angie and Brittany and Patrick Mahomes.

“When we announced [the project], people were saying: ‘You are crazy. You should be playing at the men’s stadium. You’re wasting money,’” Long shared with The Washington Post. “To us, that makes no sense. There’s no reason elite women’s athletes shouldn’t also have a place of their own [where] they’re the anchor tenant. It’s going to send a message: ‘Look how amazing an opportunity this is to really put women’s athletics where it should be.’”


NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman agrees: “I don’t think that there is a more important investment that is being made anywhere for the future of our game,” she said in a statement.

And in another first for a Kansas City stadium, all drinkware will be either recyclable or reusable. No single-use plastic bottles or cups will be served at any vendor stands, including water bottles, which will instead be offered in aluminum cans. 

“Each year, the 400-plus stadiums across the United States will dispose of 2.16 billion single use plastic cups. We are thrilled that none of them will come from CPKC Stadium,” Scott Jenkins, VP of Facility Development of the KC Current, said in a news release. “This partnership reflects our dedication to sustainability and represents a significant step forward in reducing single-use waste in sports venues.”

The history-making stadium will also host community events, concerts, and high school sports, per The Post, but its main focus will, of course, be on women’s soccer. 


Said 18-year-old KC Current rookie midfielder Claire Hutton: “We are the first, but we don’t want to be the last. We want to use this facility to draw fans in, to encourage and inspire other clubs and other sponsors now to do the same as us.”

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