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KCWoso changing the landscape for women’s soccer in Kansas City

by | Nov 1, 2021 | Sideline - Insight

KCWOSO is leading the way for women's soccer by constructing the world's first stadium built for a women's professional team.

There is a new current flowing through Kansas City. 

When I first learned Kansas City would be getting another chance at having an NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) team, I was excited. But I could have never imagined what was to come next.

After going by Kansas City NWSL or better known as “KCWoso” for their inaugural season – the club has pulled off the rebrand package we have not seen since Sporting Kansas City’s 2010 rebrand. Welcome to town, Kansas City Current. 

Leading up to the new team name and overall identity, the organization made a few historic moves for the city.

In the early morning hours on a cold Tuesday, the club announced plans to construct the world’s first stadium built for a women’s professional team. 

Kansas City NWSL owners Angie Long, Chris Long, and Brittany Matthews announced plans just over ten months since the group was awarded a franchise and is the latest in a series of major investments for the team.

With final designs still in development, the estimated $70-million project will be entirely privately financed through the ownership group. The team signed a 50-year lease for the 7.08-acre site on the east end of the Berkley Riverfront in Kansas City, Missouri.

“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,” said KC NWSL Co-Founder and Co-Owner Chris Long. “We believe this significant investment and commitment will shape a stronger future for our entire region and our athletes.”

Tuesday’s announcement follows previously released plans for a privately-funded $15 million training facility and plans to play all home matches during the 2022 season at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan. 

The 17,000 square foot complex will include two grass pitches and a meticulously designed layout that includes comprehensive team training features such as a world-class locker room, elite weight, and cardio rooms, and multiple outdoor and gathering spaces. The Current’s front office will also be relocated to the facility.

“World-class facilities have proven to be a catalyst in transforming all professional sports,” said KC NWSL Co-Founder and Co-Owner Angie Long. “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.”

On the field, the Current got off to a rocky start recording their first franchise win on August 14th against OL Reign at home. After suffering a long string of no results, they finished their first season in last place (10th place) with sixteen points, a negative twenty-one goal differential, and a 3-14-7 record at Legends Field on Saturday, Oct. 30.

The NWSL announced the decision to award an expansion franchise to Kansas City on December 7, 2020, with the draft scheduled 37 days later.

The club took the field for the first time on April 9th for the NWSL Challenge Cup, before the regular season began on May 15. And played their first season at Legends Field, the same minor league baseball field where their MLS counterpart Sporting Kansas City, spent the 2008-2009 season(s) before moving into their own stadium.

Despite the women’s less than a desirable inaugural season, Kansas City had the honor of hosting the FIFA committee on Thursday, October 21 as they toured the bid city for the 2026 World Cup. Including hosting one of the USWNT friendlies, who played the Korean Republic to a scoreless result at Children’s Mercy Park.

As a soccer fan and KC native, I am very excited to see how this organization is shaping the future of my hometown.